The African Union has contributed a sum of 100,000 dollars to Zambia’s work towards hosting refugees.
In his letter confirming the transfer of funds to the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia, Chairperson of African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, said this followed the recommendation made by the Permanent Representative Committee Sub-Committee that visited Zambia to undertake the humanitarian assessment on Zambia hosting refugees.
The funds have been sent directly to the Ministry of Agriculture to go under the FISP program for refugees to help make refugees self sufficient.
And Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia who is also Permanent Representative to the African Union Emmanuel Mwamba expressed gratitude for the solidarity gesture.
Mr. Mwamba said Zambia has been hosting refugees since the 1970s by providing shelter, land, food, water, education, infrastructure and security, a matter that came at great cost to the country.
He said the burden has been made lighter by resource support from the United Nations, the UNHCR and other humanitarian institutions.
Mr. Mwamba however said the contribution that has come from the African Union is an extremely humbling gesture to the Zambian government as it is re-affirming the principle that Africa should be at the fore-front of resolving its own challenges.
Zambia currently hosts 77,370 persons of concerns (51,371 refugees, 3,173 asylum seekers and 22,826 former refugees).
The refugees and former refugees are hosted in Maheba in North-Western Province, Mayukwayukwa in Western Province and Mantapala, in Luapula Province.
Zambia also has transit centres in Makeni and Northern and Luapula Provinces.
This is according to a statement issued by Inutu Mwanza, the First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia.