Second Group of Congolese Refugees to Depart for the United Kingdom


On Thursday (23/3), a second group of 50
Congolese refugees will leave Lusaka for Britain under the UK's
pilot Gateway Programme.

IOM staff will travel with the refugees, who
will start their new lives in the northern cities of Hull and
Rochdale. A first group of 48 refugees travelled to the UK on 3rd
March under the same programme.

The refugees, from a camp 700 kms north of
Lusaka, were interviewed and selected by the UK Home Office in
January 2006. IOM provided medical screening and 15 hours of
pre-departure cultural orientation to prepare for them for life in

Resettlement agencies in the UK will meet the
refugees at the airport and subsequently help them with housing,
finding schools for their children, health, finding jobs and other
integration needs. Most of the group speak French and Kiswahili,
but a few understand some English.

A third group of 10 refugees will travel the
UK in April, bringing the total number of refugees from Zambia
resettled under the Gateway programme to 108.

Zambia shares common borders with eight
countries and over the past decade has hosted almost 60,000
refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), most of whom
fled the country between 1996 and 2000. The majority of Congolese
refugees were settled in Kala and Mwange refugee camps in the
Northern and Luapula Provinces of Zambia.

For further information, please contact:

Per Andersson

IOM London

Tel: +44 207 233 0001

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IOM Zambia

Tel: +260 1 254 055