DR Congo

Congo crisis: Congolese women appeal to Lord Malloch Brown at refugee camp

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ActionAid is helping a group of Congolese women organise a demonstration at a refugee camp in anticipation of UK government minister Lord Malloch Brown's visit to the camp later today. They are calling for protection and an end to violence against women in the wake of the conflict.

ActionAid spokeswoman Solange Nyamulisa said: "Whilst UN peacekeepers are authorised under their mandate to use force to protect civilians, they need to be seen to be doing so, particularly around the protection of women and children.

"UN mission forces should be providing 24 hour security at all refugee camps with enough troops deployed in enough strength to serve as deterrence."

ActionAid is currently reaching 50,000 people with food supplies - beans, maize flour, salt and cooking oil and other emergency relief items such as soap, mattresses, blankets, plastic sheeting, water containers, mosquito nets and cooking utensils.

The agency is concentrating its relief operation in Goma town as well as camps outside Goma. At the same time we are carrying out needs assessments in the region - but the task is being made particularly difficult by insecurity and the constant movement of people.

Donations can be made via www.actionaid,org,uk or via the UK's Disasters Emergency Committee appeal. To donate ring 0370 60 60 90 or visit website at www.dec.org.uk

For further information contact:

GOMA: Anjali Kwatra on +44 (0)7941 3712357 or + 44 (0)7525 951202

UK: Juliet McShannon or Jane Moyo on +44 (0)20 7561 7614 or +44 (0)7734 023347