DR Congo

DR Congo: Women and girls particularly affected by fighting Malteser International strengthens relief efforts in Eastern Congo

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Bukavu/Cologne: The escalation of armed struggles in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has triggered a further refugee crisis. "Even the north of South Kivu province - in par-ticular the Minova region - is affected," Christoph Rumich, the Programme Coordinator of Mal-teser International reports from Bukavu. "Thousands are fleeing into this region out of fear of the brutal attacks happening in Goma. Particularly affected are women and girls, because rape is often used as an instrument of war. Many displaced people are traumatised and need not only food and shelter but also urgent psychosocial support.

This is why Malteser International is continuing to expand its aid for the internally displaced per-sons (IDPs) in the Minova Region. "Already in the past few months 55,000 IDPs have been reg-istered here, who had fled from the fighting between the rebels (CNDP - Comité National pour la Défense du Peuple) and the government forces (FARDC - Forces Armées de La République Démocratique du Congo). Already during the last months, Malteser International had been of-fering intensive psychosocial care for the IDPs. "Now we must reckon with a further rising num-ber of fleeing women, children, and men", says Ruhmich.

In addition to psychosocial care, Malteser International conducts an assessment in the region in order to prepare food distribution programmes for the internally displaced persons to be realized in cooperation with the World Food Programme of the United Nations.

Malteser International has been working in South Kivu since 1996, and is currently represented there by 80 national and two international staff members. Malteser International runs projects in the fields of health care, psychosocial care and food security.

In order to build on the relief efforts for the growing number of internally displaced persons, Malteser International is in urgent need of donations:

Donation Account 2020122
Pax-Bank Köln, von-Werth-Str. 25-27, D-50670 Köln, Germany
Sort Code : 370 60 193
IBAN : DE93 3706 0193 0002 0201 22
BIC: GENODED1PAX
Reference : "Congo"

Or online at www.malteser-spenden.de

Attention Editors: Christof Ruhmich, Programme Coordinator in Bukavu/South Kivu, is available for interviews. Please contact ++49 / 2 21 98 22-155.

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for hu-manitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further informa-tion: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org