LUSAKA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Zambia has allocated more than 100,000 hectares of land for refugee settlements, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Stephen Kampyongo, Minister of Home Affairs, said the land was also meant for former refugees and other persons of concern.
In remarks delivered at the 70th plenary session of the executive committee of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Zambian minister said Zambia has given huge pieces of land to refugees in the refugee settlements and transit centers.
Zambia, he said, has also maintained an open door asylum policy that has over the past 50 years ensured that thousands of refugees are received, protected and assisted in safety and dignity, according to state-run news agency, the Zambia News and Information Service.
Zambia, he said, was spending at least 2 million U.S. dollars every year in personal emoluments for its officers in charge of providing services to the refugee settlements.
According to him, for many years, refugees have been part of Zambia's national agenda, benefiting from a whole of government approach in the delivery of services.
He noted that 76 percent of the refugee population was from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo who were living in refugee settlements as well as urban areas.
According to government figures, Zambia currently hosts over 84,500 refugees, persons of concern and former refugees.