DR Congo

DR Congo: Families receive shelter

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By World Vision staff

This week, World Vision distributed much-needed relief to almost 4,500 people displaced by recent violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The distributions took place in a temporary camp near to Goma, the largest town in the region.

The camp has been without proper shelter since it was looted by rebel forces more than a week ago. Families living in banana leaf huts, about one-metre square, explained how children would wake shaking from the cold and wet.

World Vision has provided plastic sheeting to protect the small huts from the elements.

"We delivered family kits made up of two blankets, plastic sheeting, two sleeping mats, four bars of soap, a bucket, a kitchen set, a jerry can for carrying water and one mosquito net," said World Vision's Augustin Kazadi.

Since fighting broke out in October hundreds of thousands of people - about half of them children - have been newly displaced or displaced again by intense fighting.

Baby born

Mother-of-three Chance Tulize, 26, described how her family left their home to walk to Shasha displacement camp.

"Intense gunshots took place in our village between government soldiers and rebels. [We] did not have time to collect our stuff. Everybody was running away.

"I was eight months pregnant and very weak, and could not walk quickly. Some of my neighbours helped me evacuate.

"I delivered my baby here in Shasha in very hard conditions."

Like many others, Chance arrived in Shasha camp in dire need of food and essential household items.

"I sincerely thank World Vision for this assistance," said Chance.

"This is the rainy season and my hut was wet every day. The plastic sheeting will help my family to be protected against rain and cold."

Work continues

World Vision continues to work in North Kivu, in communities around Beni, Minova, Shasha, Kibati and Goma. Activities include child protection, water and sanitation, nutrition and supplemental feeding, HIV and AIDS, food security and agriculture, and support for separated and abandoned children.

Operations in Rutshuru have been suspended due to continued instability in that area.

A million displaced

Renewed heavy fighting between rebel forces and government troops has forced around 200,000 people from their homes in the last nine weeks, adding to the estimated 1.1 million people already displaced.

A peace deal signed in January between the government and rebel groups has failed to halt violence in the country.