CERF provides $3 million in life-saving support for Congolese refugees in Rwanda
11 June 2012: Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and remain internally displaced, or have sought refuge in neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda, as a result of intense fighting between Congolese Government forces and armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
To date, more than 9,000 Congolese refugees have entered Rwanda and settled in Nkamira Transit Centre; some 84 per cent of whom are women and children. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports a significant number of vulnerable populations among the refugees, including 468 unaccompanied children, 44 unaccompanied elderly people and 37 pregnant women. As children and youth make up the majority (53 per cent) of the population at the Centre, there is an urgent need to met their protection and psycho-social needs, including comprehensive child care services.
A rapid assessment conducted by UN agencies in coordination with the Government of Rwanda confirms that conditions in the Centre are precarious. The Centre has a capacity to host some 2,600 people while three times as many persons have located there, posing challenges to the provision of adequate health services, shelter and protection for refugees, particularly women and children. The Government of Rwanda, with the support of UN agencies, seeks to relocate the population to another site in the south of the country, where basic needs and services can be adequately met and protection mechanisms to support the most vulnerable can be established.
In response, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has given more than US$3 million to four UN agencies in Rwanda to provide life-saving support for Congolese refugees.
UNHCR received $1.5 million from CERF to register and profile new arrivals at the Centre, provide emergency shelter and non-food items, and ensure refugees have adequate sanitation facilities. Activities will support a target population of up to 10,000 people. CERF also gave the World Food Programme (WFP) a grant of $694,737 to support emergency food aid for refugees between June and August 2012.
To ensure refugees have access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and that children and adolescents are provided with recreational and educational activities, and psychosocial support, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $629,017 from CERF. UNICEF-supported activities will also ensure that children under age 5 receive nutrition assessments and supplementation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) received $218,950 to provide emergency health assistance to refugees to ensure the timely detection of epidemics through strengthened disease surveillance; provide quality basic primary health and nutrition care services, including management and referral services for medical emergencies such as trauma and emergency obstetrics; and support the coordination, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of health services in the camp.
For more information about the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, visit the CERF website : http://www.unocha.org/cerf
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.