DR Congo: Humanitarians facilitate voluntary return of IDPs from Bunia
According the site's managing NGO, Atlas Logistique, of the 5, 487 camp dwellers, only 960 individuals are considered vulnerable and will continue to receive the usual humanitarian assistance after the August deadline. "Other persons not in this category who continue to stay in the camp after the said deadline will be considered as normal citizens under the direct administration of the state", explained Mr.Yannick Bézy, the Project Coordinator for Atlas Logistique. Food distribution will be handed over to a local NGO for the continuing care and maintenance programmes of the remaining vulnerable caseload.
"The site no longer represents a humanitarian concern, so we are encouraging the IDPs to return home and take advantage of ongoing community reintegration projects in their communities", said Mr. Bézy. Each returnee family receives a direct assistance of two month's food ration and non-food items.
UN OCHA who actively advocated for the protection and assistance of the IDPs since the camp's inception in May 2003 now says the time is ripe for IDPs to resume normal activities at home. "We encourage IDPs to take full advantage of the facilities offered to them and return home to rebuild their lives in Bunia and safe areas around" said Dr Modibo Traore, OCHA Head of Office in Bunia.
The call to return to settlements of origin is supported by the Office of the District Commissioner and the Chairman of the Displaced Committee, Mr. Kahwa Paliech Réginald who himself returned to his residence in Bunia. "Most of our people are happy with the return package and will never forget the good Samaritans particularly Atlas Logistique, MSF-Switzerland, Oxfam-UK, COOPI, WFP, UNICEF and OCHA whose humanitarian efforts have kept us alive till this day", said the ex-IDP Chairman.
For futher information, please contact:
Michel Bonnardeaux, Public Information,
OCHA, DR Congo
tél: (+243) 0819889151