DR Congo

DR Congo: Development and Peace collects funds during "silent genocide"

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News and Press Release
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Montreal, November 18, 2008 - The Catholic Bishops of Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have sent out a "cry of distress and protest" about the humanitarian situation in their country, which they have called a "silent genocide". In a declaration, they have asked for emergency relief for the hundreds of thousands of Congolese currently living in displaced persons camps.

"Unprovoked and large-scale massacres of the civilian population, targeted extermination of the youth, systematic rapes as a weapon of war; once more cruelty of exceptional virulence is raging against the local populations who never wished for anything more than a peaceful and decent life on their land," write the Bishops.

Since late October, Development and Peace has been receiving donations for an emergency relief project with its partner Caritas Congo to distribute basic necessities to 90,000 displaced persons in North-Kivu.

Development and Peace Executive Director Michael Casey calls on the Canadian population to contribute generously to the organization's Congo relief fund.

"Each donation that we receive will play a vital part in ending the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," he says. "By giving aid to the Congolese, we are giving them the strength to find alternatives and the comfort that the international community has not forgotten them."

Two Congolese Bishops will visit Development and Peace in early December and will participate in a joint press conference on Parliament Hill asking the Canadian government to take immediate action on this issue.

Contributions can be made by telephone (1 888 664-3387), online at www.devp.org, or by cheque (marked "Emergency: Congo") sent to the following address:

Development and Peace
1425, René-Lévesque Blvd. West, 3rd floor
Montreal (Quebec)
H3G 1T7