DR Congo

ACT Appeal DR Congo: Relief & Rehabilitation - AFDC31

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 2,391,019
Geneva, March 5, 2003

Dear Colleagues,

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains a country with high insecurity, divided and with a total breakdown in law and order. In the Eastern part of the country especially the Kivus, warlordlism has once more become a problem making delivery of humanitarian assistance to the severely impoverished and traumatised populations difficult. Poverty has remained widespread with malnutrition reaching high levels and basically becoming endemic. Ongoing conflict, displacement, decreased economic activity and general deterioration of social services in the communities have made it difficult for the population to meet their basic needs and for the assistance provided by the humanitarian organisations to make positive impact. The eruption of Mount Nyirongongo in Goma in January, 2002 further complicated the lives of people in that region.

ACT members working in the Eastern DRC have come together and formulated response programs to assist some of the people both victims of the war and those who were victims of the volcano eruption. Last year after the volcano disaster, an appeal to provide relief was issued and generally the victims of the disaster got most of the basic relief items required. However, the appeal (AFDC22) which was addressing the people affected by the war had a very poor response of less 15% which made it impossible for the ACT members to respond adequately.

In this appeal, the ACT members; Christian Aid (CAID), The Church of Christ in Congo (ECC), Lutheran World Federation-World Service (LWF/WS), Bureau Oecumenique D'Appui Au Development (BOAD), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Congo (ELCC) would like to respond in South and North Kivu and Maniema in the distribution of seeds and tools, shelter provision, water programs, Education, Health, Non Food Items, psychosocial and trauma counselling. The organisations have formed an ACT forum in order to co-ordinate their programs well.

Project Completion Dates:

LWF/ECC-NK - 31 December 2003
CAID - 31 January 2004
BOAD/ECC/EELC - 31 December 2003
ECC-SK - 30 August 2003

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested
ACT CO monitoring visits
Total Target US$
Total Appeal Targets
Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd
Balance Requested from ACT Network

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
PO Box 2600
1211 Geneva 2

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address jkg@act-intl.org) of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org

Ms. Elizabeth Ferris
Diakonia & Solidarity
World Council of Churches
Thor- Arne Prois
Director, ACT
LWF/World Service

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.



  • Lutheran World Federation / Department for World Service (LWF/DWS)
  • The Church of Christ in the Congo, North-Kivu (ECC/NK) and its Member Churches


LWF/DWS - DRC/Rwanda is a programme of LWF/DWS Geneva. During the 1994-96 period, LWF operated a programme in Goma in support of refugees. In 2001, LWF/DWS re-opened a programme in Kisangani located in Oriental Province of the DRC together with its implementation partner, ECC and its member churches, where it continues to be operational.

Following the volcanic eruption in Goma in January 2002, LWF facilitated ACT members in the preparation and co-ordination of an appeal (AFDC-21). Following the release of the appeal, LWF worked through ECC and its member churches in implementing components mainly in the sectors of education and shelter and Non-Food Item (NFI) stocks during 2002. At the request of ACT/Geneva, LWF also served as the co-ordinator for ACT members in North Kivu in the implementation of the various activities in the AFDC-21 Appeal.

LWF/DWS has a long and comprehensive operational experience in assisting people affected by emergencies regardless of race, gender, religious belief, nationality, ethnic origin, and political persuasion.

ECC: The ECC in North Kivu is a provincial federation of the Church of Christ in the Congo in North Kivu Province of the DRC. It is comprised of 13 member churches amongst the 62 members churches of the national ECC.

Description of ACT Member's Implementing Partners

ECC: ECC is the co-ordinating body of the Protestant Churches in the DRC. ECC - North Kivu has experience in carrying out humanitarian projects since 1993 when the inter-ethnical conflicts began in the Masisi region. ECC - North Kivu has been working closely with refugee and IDP programmes supported by ACT, along with some BOAD/Goma emergency projects. Following the volcanic eruption the beginning of 2002, ECC has been LWF's partner in co-ordinating the various components included in the AFDC-21 Appeal.

ECC Member Churches: The ECC in North Kivu has 13 member churches. Although EELC (Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Congo) is not a member of ECC, they will be working in close collaboration with them in the 2003 appeal. Individually, and as ECC, these churches have been involved in implementing humanitarian projects and in working with the ACT network. They also manage and operate a variety of education, health, and other social institutions.

ECC member churches have been LWF's partner in the implementation of their section of the AFDC-21 Appeal. LWF will continue to work through ECC member churches and its network in the implementation of activities included in this appeal for North Kivu in 2003 including: gaps and rehabilitation needs in Goma not addressed in the AFDC-21 Appeal; emergency assistance in North Kivu with a focus on Beni and the surrounding areas; emergency preparedness, response, and capacity; and capacity building of ECC Secretariat and member churches.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be prepared between ECC and LWF specifying their individual roles and responsibilities in the implementation of this appeal.



In January 2002 Mount Nyirongongo erupted in Goma town in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resulting in the total destruction of 15% of the town, 254 deaths, over 100,000 were left homeless, and 50,000 in need of emergency assistance. The majority of the population of Goma fled across the border to Rwanda and others to Bukavu where they stayed only several days before returning to Goma. While in Rwanda, many of the refugees were assisted by the ACT network with food, non-food items, and temporary shelter (AFRW-21 Appeal). A joint co-ordinated appeal was submitted to ACT the beginning of February 2002 for emergency relief for Goma volcano victims (AFDC-21) covering both North and South Kivu by ACT members including: Christian Aid (CAID); Church of Christ in the Congo, North and South Kivu (ECC/NK & ECC/SK); Ecumenical Office for Support to Development (BOAD); Lutheran World Federation (LWF); and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

In May/June of 2002, on-going inter-ethnic clashes escalated in Bunia and its surrounding areas causing many injuries/deaths and resulting in large numbers of the population moving to the south west across the border to North Kivu Province. In November and December many members of the civilian population of Ituri and the north eastern area of Oriental Province were caught between fighting rebel and splinter rebel groups and fled to the south east across the border to North Kivu Province. Many of these internally displaced people (IDPs) experienced looting, kidnapping, systematic rape, and executions - the weapons of war used by the parties fighting in the area. Investigators from a UN mission in Kinshasa also reported cannibalism and massacres committed by rebel groups fighting in Oriental/Ituri Province. As the result of the above conflicts, over 200,000 IDPs have moved from Oriental/Ituri Provinces across the border with North Kivu and are staying in the surrounding areas of Beni.

At the request of churches from the area, an assessment was co-ordinated by LWF in Beni and surrounding areas in December to evaluate the needs of the IDP population and the capacity of the ACT network with ECC member churches to respond.

LWF together with ACT partners, particularly ECC and their member churches, also conducted assessments in Goma and its suburban areas in December to address the longer-term needs in the education and health sectors and identify "gaps" that had not been addressed in the AFDC-21 Appeal.

The draft report from the ACT Evaluation of the AFDC-21 received in December was reviewed with particular attention to the general recommendations. These recommendations, together with the results of the above assessments, have formed the foundation of LWF's appeal for 2003.

Current situation

It has now been over a year since the volcanic eruption. As one drives around the town of Goma, the lava flows are still very visible although large areas have been levelled, and many buildings half submerged by the lava have been dismantled with the bricks and other construction items sold off or utilised for other structures. Twisted metal remains have been cut and re-cycled, and new shops are being erected on top of the lava. Schools are again full with confident resolute students who are determined to continue their studies. Underneath the seeming calm and cheerful faces of the Goma population, one must realise that thousands are still living hand-to-mouth on the meagre support of family and friends having lost everything in the eruption of the volcano. Many families continue to survive in miserable conditions with 10 to 20 persons living in a small house.

In the areas of north eastern Oriental/Ituri Province, the outrage and pressure from internal and external groups has influenced the fighting forces and inter-ethnic groups to call a cease-fire and to halt their continued violation of human rights on the civilian population. The IDP population in North Kivu are monitoring the situation at a distance, but at this point, it is far too early for them to believe that a cease-fire will result in sustainable peace.

The population of the DRC as a whole is greatly affected by the ongoing political uncertainty with its various political factions and numerous rebel groups. Through the inter-Congolese dialogue the peace process has progressed, but it is still unclear how all the various groups will ever be able to unite to achieve sustainable results in this vast country.

Impact on human lives

In Goma, the impact of the volcano eruption is still quite evident in the lives of many victims who continue to suffer from lack of shelter and have limited access to education and health facilities.

In the northern area of North Kivu the impact on human lives of IDPs is beyond imagination. Many have experienced the worst possible nightmares - which will forever leave its toll. The hospitality of host families in Beni and surrounding areas, in contrast, has been a most positive experience that has enabled them to keep their faith in mankind.

Description of damages

The damages and destruction in Goma and its surrounding area caused by the volcanic eruption are still evident. At least one can see progress in clearing of buildings destroyed by the lava flow and the construction/rehabilitation of facilities in the surrounding areas.

In North Kivu, the population of towns and villages has in some cases tripled with the influx of IDPs. Facilities including food, shelter, health, education, water and sanitation are totally inadequate but at the grass-root level, ECC member churches and others continue to try to assist the IDP population. It must be noted that the impact of this hospitality is already quite evident with marked depletion of host families own food security and meagre reserves.

Location of the proposed response

The location of the proposed response is North Kivu Province located in the most eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and particularly includes:

  • Goma and suburban areas
  • Beni and surrounding areas

Current security situation

Goma: The security situation in the town of Goma and its suburban areas remains relatively calm and no new volcanic activity has been experienced since the earthquake in October 2002. Mt. Nyiragongo continues to expel large quantities of gas, which reach an estimated height of 3 km above the volcano and can often be seen glowing at night. The UN volcano status report has been "yellow" for the last 10 months - which means that residents must continue to be vigilant. Various new coloured-coded signs have been put up in Goma to keep the population informed of the colour alerts.

Beni and surrounding area: In Beni and its surrounding area, the security situation remains calm. In early December, deserting soldiers from the Congo Patriotic Army (APC) based in Beni committed atrocities to the north east and north west of Beni, but the situation is now calmer. Yet, if one moves further to the south, half way between Beni and Goma, security incidents are still experienced with conflicts between the Mai-Mai, RCD-G, and Interhamwe forces. MONUC has been successful in establishing agreements with all three factions so that transport/supplies can safely move from Goma to Beni to assist the large number of IDPs in the area.



  • To continue to support the most vulnerable population affected by the volcano in the provision of emergency rehabilitation needs.

  • To provide emergency humanitarian assistance to IDPs and host families in Beni and surrounding areas.

  • To increase the capacity of ACT partners, particularly ECC and member churches, to be more effective in emergency preparedness and response.

  • To increase the capacity of the ECC Secretariat to enable it to better serve its member churches.

  • To provide increased health facilities in Goma.

  • To provide permanent education facilities on a self-help basis in Goma.

  • To provide housing to 100 homeless vulnerable families in the area of Goma.

  • To provide 4,000 packages of seeds and tools to IDPs and their host families in Beni and surrounding areas.

  • To provide 3,000 packages of NFIs to the most vulnerable IDPs in Beni and surrounding areas.

  • To provide basic medical supplies to 7 health centres in Beni and surrounding areas.

  • To provide training in HIV/AIDs and "violence against women" counselling, to increase the capacity of health workers and the ECC network to provide information and counselling serves to IDPs and host families in Beni and surrounding areas.

  • To establish a "Focal Point" within ECC's North Kivu Secretariat to provide emergency preparedness.

  • To identify gaps in the emergency preparedness response and address these gaps utilising the assistance of ECC member churches, ACT members, and other agencies.

  • To identify and provide the necessary training to ECC member churches for general emergency preparedness and the management of NFIs.

  • To improve the capacity of the ECC Secretariat and member churches to monitor emergency gaps, carry out assessments, provide timely alerts and strengthen their capacity to respond.

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