Congo crisis: ADRA readies emergency aid for displaced persons
Through this emergency intervention, ADRA will provide wool blankets to 2,600 vulnerable children to shield them from the cold, a necessity during the current rainy season. In addition, 4,000 women will receive batik fabrics called "pagne" made up of three pieces of two yards (1.8 m) of fabric each. According to Romain Kenfack, country director for the ADRA DRC East office in Goma, these multi-functional fabrics can be worn, serve as cover when temperatures dip, and used as a sling to carry babies. ADRA also plans to distribute a total of 850 school kits to displaced schoolchildren, with priority given to Pygmy children.
In conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is coordinating the dispensation of all the assistance to IDPs in the region, ADRA will stage this distribution near the Lake Kivu Christian Center (CCLK) settlements, which currently hold nearly 900 families, and the Pygmy settlements of Mugunga 3, an IDP community hosting nearly 2,750 households. The project, financed by the ADRA network, ADRA International, and the ADRA Africa Regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, is valued at more than $64,000.
In late October, intensified fighting between the Congolese army and the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) rebel forces under the command of General Laurent Nkunda broke out in eastern Nord-Kivu province, causing the immediate displacement of some 200,000 Goma residents who fled to the countryside. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs office in DRC (OCHA DRC), many IDPs have become the victims of serious human rights violations during these hostilities. At present, more than 250,000 are currently displaced primarily around Goma, adding to the nearly one million IDPs in Congo, the United Nations has said.
Since 1996, more than 4 million people are believed to have died in Congo as a result of ongoing fighting, according to UN estimates, mostly due to diseases and starvation.
To assist in ADRA's emergency response to the growing humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, contributions can be donated to ADRA's Refugee and Displaced Persons Fund, by phone at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or online at www.adra.org.
ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race, or ethnicity.
Additional information about ADRA can be found at adra.org
Author: Nadia McGill
Senior Public Relations Manager
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