Summary: CHF 220,502 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 6,144 families (66,139 beneficiaries) displaced by the fighting in DRC.
URCS, with support of IFRC, launched a DREF operation for an initial period of three months, in coordination with other actors, to support up to 1,000 of the most vulnerable families. From the assessment and data gathered, it was decided to support the families with non-food item kits (which include cutlery, blankets and tarpaulins) and reach the entire affected population with hygiene promotion messages, water purification sachets and the set-up of temporary latrines in the transit center. Further support was received from Danish Red Cross that enabled the operation and also the extension of assistance to host communities and border areas besides the main support from UNHCR for Camp Management.
Although the situation kept changing at almost every turn of the week, the other partners and URCS with support from UNHCR, the DREF, and Danish Red Cross (DRC) were able to provide humanitarian support to approximately 30,000 refugees in the transit camp (UNHCR Biometric Data Registration; 5/1/2014). By the 31st December, the above mentioned support and assistance from other stakeholders had forestalled any would be worsening humanitarian condition of the refugees and above all averted the occurrence of any humanitarian catastrophe in the transit center. By the end of the DREF operation, the situation had stabilized and the reception center had approximately 2,000 refugees who were selected for transfer to the settlement.
It was fighting in the villages of Kitimba, Kikingi, Mukakati, Bundwasana, Ndama, Mpoku, Napopia,
Katibombo, Bundibuka, Bugando, Muhumbu, Kitembo, Bukonko, Magombera, Busega, Butembo, Bundikibele, Kidonko, Butolu, Muholia, Kahondo, Nobili, Kalegha, Nsungu, Mbimba, Buhwesa, Rukisa, Kipensa, Rugali, Ngogo, Njapande, Budimu, Bwesega, Kaboluwe,Bawumu, Mulobia, Mbundimanga, Kichanga, Ngone, Bamukela, Gawa, Ndiba, Boratu, Mabare, Kazabo, Kiterekeya, Kubirirye, Mulongwe, Tungudu, Beni and Kinjanjaba of Buwisa, Butalinga and Bawumu sub counties in the district of Kamango, Beni zone, Nord Kivu Province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo which triggered the sudden surge in population movement in Bundibugyo District. URCS was at the forefront of the response providing coordinated support with the district local government, office of the Prime Minister (OPM), UNHCR and other agencies.
The response that started with the initial assessment included: The deployment of volunteers to provide the assistance as required and based on their competencies, clearing up the land allocated for the set- up of the transit center, mobilizing the local population, providing first aid, positioning of non-food items, preparation of meals, distribution of non-food relief items. At the same time assessments were conducted to establish the immediate humanitarian needs of the new arrivals and further population movements across the border were monitored. In addition psychosocial support to the refugees in need were provided. The URCS volunteers were at the forefront in responding to the population movement from Democratic Republic of Congo to Bundibugyo in Western Uganda offering assistance across all sectors including relief, emergency health and care through first aid and improved access to safe drinking water.
The Belgian Red Cross/Belgian government, Canadian Red Cross/ Canadian government, Netherlands Red Cross/Netherlands government, Spanish Red Cross/Spanish government (AECID) and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) have contributed towards replenishing the DREF allocation made for this operation. The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, DG ECHO, the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors.
IFRC on behalf of the Ugandan Red Cross Society would like to extend thanks to all for their generous contributions.