The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$650,000 contribution from the United States (through USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance), to provide cash assistance to around 18,500 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) residing in the WFP-supported Mantapala Refugee Settlement in Zambia. This contribution will allow WFP to continue cash assistance for up to three months.
“The support from the U.S. government could not have come at a more crucial moment as WFP urgently needs funding to continue providing cash assistance to DRC refugees who depend on our support to put food on their tables,” said Cissy Byenkya, WFP Country Representative in Zambia.
Cash assistance empowers refugees, allowing them to buy varied food items and diversify their diets. Cash assistance also helps stimulate local markets and foster peace between refugees and the host community.
“While WFP is very grateful to donors, we appeal for their continued support as additional funding is required to assist refugees until the end of the year as we aim to shift focus to self-reliance activities, reducing refugee dependency on external assistance,” added Byenkya.
Depending on the availability of resources, WFP and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will support the refugee population becoming self-reliant through the formation of savings groups, implementation of agricultural activities, and improved access to finance for income-generating activities.
The U.S. government has supported the refugee operation since 2018 when the Mantapala Refugee Settlement was established by the Government of Zambia. In 2021, the U.S. government contributed US$610,000 to support the food and nutrition needs of DRC refugees in Zambia.