CONGAF is an international coordination of human rights organisations, some of which enjoy consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN, ILO and the African Commission of Human Rights and the Rights of Peoples. Its aim is to unify African NGOs and the sectors of civil society they represent, for a better contribution of civil society to development. It is now undertaking activities in support of the victims in Algeria because it has close links with many civil society organisations in that country, some of which are affiliated to it, as well as with the government authorities of the country, which have for a long time provided strong support to civil society, in particular to the African NGOs concerned , which are not as well endowed as the NGOs of the North, and need that support badly.
The earthquake has particularly struck Boumerdès, located as its epicenter. That town is well known to the African civil society, because it has been the location of workshops on the dialogue of cultures at the outset of the21st century. Boumerdès has also been a training center for the African elite committed to development and the defence of human rights and the rights of peoples. CONGAF, which participated in such activities in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, has been overwhelmed by the ordeal of that city and its surroundings.
But it is Algeria as a whole that has been struck by the disaster, and African civil society clearly remembers the contribution of that country to the liberation of the African continent, its action in for a new world economic order (that must be recalled as the G8 meets near Geneva) and its hospitality to the diaspora of African and African descendants.
Today we mourn because of the tragic death of more than 3000 persons, and a form of homage to them is supporting the survivors, many of whom are destitute and desperate. Not only have they lost their loved ones, but their homes have been destroyed, and given the extent of the disaster, in spite of national efforts and international assistance, they still lack many basic necessities. They need medicines, especially for local clinics, because the wounded are numerous, and the spread of epidemics must be avoided. They need water purification equipment, because plants and pipes have been destroyed. They need food, because in the midst of ruins economic and commercial circuits have often been scattered. They need electric generators ad lamps, because electrical networks have been broken.
Unfortunately such supplies will have, not only to answer the needs of a tragic present, but also those of the future, because there are ominous replicas.
CONGAF will therefore be grateful if you can provide the above supplies and materials, as well as multipurpose assistance in the form of financial contributions, according to your means.
We appeal to you, whether you are individuals, institutions, municipalities and other authorities, businesses - especially pharmaceutical companies - banks, utilities, stores -especially textile and food stores - in order that you contact us for those purposes.
Maison des Associations
15, rue des Savoises
Tel: +41 (0)22 800 34 62 or +41 (0)22
Fax : +41 (0)22 800 34 64
We will hold a permanence at that address et on those telephone and fax numbers, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m, including week ends (considering the urgency of the situation). Public utilities can transfer to us useful equipment, and stores unsold items. Municipalities and other authorities can add a contribution to their annual grants for development.
As regards financial contributions, which will make it possible to assist the victims of the earthquake in many ways, including unexpected ones, we are calling upon you send them generously, considering the extent of the tragedy, but of course according to your means. Our special account "Earthquake in Algeria" is UBS Bank N=B0 0279 209922-M1J. A financial report will be sent to all contributors and disseminated through the press.
Please, whether you are an authority of an important firm, a shop or an individual, help us fulfil a moral duty towards the victims of a great tragedy and a country which has seen too many such disasters, by providing the support you can.