Angolan Refugees Return from Copperbelt Province

Posted: 
01/08/07

An Angolan Airlines aircraft left Zambia’s Copperbelt
provincial capital of Ndola early this morning with 116 Angolan
refugees. The plane was bound for Luena in Angola’s eastern
central province of Moxico. Two more flights are scheduled to leave
later today. 

This operation, which is due to run until the end of January,
aims to assist some 3,000 Angolan refugees who are currently living
in Zambia’s Copperbelt province and who wish to return home
under a joint voluntary repatriation programme run by IOM, UNHCR
and the Angolan and Zambia
governments.     

In Ndola, IOM provided transport to the refugees from
settlements to the airport, pre-embarkation medical screening and
an escort to accompany the returnees on the two-hour flight to
Luena.

Upon arrival, the returnees were received by IOM and by staff
from the Angolan Ministry of Assistance and Social Reinsertion
(MINARS) before being registered. They were then given food
from WFP, non-food items such as construction material and farming
instruments from UNHCR, and mine awareness training and HIV/AIDS
information from a partner NGO, “Enxame de
Abelhas”.

A cash grant was also handed out by IOM to each returning
family to help them fund the last leg of their journey
home.  

More than 70,000 Angolan refugees have returned home from
Zambia since 2003. However, several thousands are
still living outside of camps in Zambia’s
Copperbelt. 

The Angolan government is providing the planes for this return
operation while IOM’s assistance is funded by
the Danish government and by the US State Department Bureau of
Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). The Swedish International
Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, is funding the HIV/AIDS
awareness assistance.

IOM needs US$ 2.5 million to provide returnees with income
generating activities, such as agricultural work or the production
of construction materials and other goods and services over the
next two years.

For more information, please contact: 

Josiah Ogina

IOM Lusaka

Tel: +260 97 740 550

E-mail: "mailto:jogina@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">jogina@iom.int

or 

Katharina Schnoring

IOM Luanda

Tel: +244 924 643 032

E-mail: "mailto:kschnoring@iom.int" target="_blank" title=
"">kschnoring@iom.int