Caritas appeal for refugee crisis in North-West Congo
24 February 2010
Caritas is providing humanitarian relief for 12,000 families forced from their homes by ethnic conflict in the north west of the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo DR).
Millions of people have lost their house because of the conflict in Congo. Many of them live in refugee camps in Congo or neighboring countries.
The fighting is taking place in a remote part of the country. Over a hundred thousand people have fled their homes due to the violence.
Caritas is helping both people internally displaced in Congo DR and about 8000 families who have crossed the border into neighbouring Republic of Congo (also known as Congo Brazzaville)
Refugees have fled to settlements on the Oubangui river that divides Congo DR from Congo Brazzaville. The area they are in is only accessible by boat or plane.
The relief work is a joint operation by Caritas members in Congo DR and in Congo Brazzaville.
“These people lack everything. Food, clean water, household goods, school supplies…Fleeing the violence, they had to leave everything behind,” said Boniface Nakwagelewi, in charge of emergencies at Caritas Congo DR.
Caritas is working in close cooperation with other aid agencies to ensure an ideal coordination of the relief efforts. It will supply blankets, clothes, sanitary products and household goods to the families.
The violence involves fighters from the Enyele Tanda and Muzaya ethnic groups.
“We are facing many problems. The insecurity makes transportation of the goods difficult. We have to deliver everything by plane which is expensive,” said Mr. Nakwagelewi.
At least 18,000 refugees have also left conflict area to go to the south of the Central African Republic.
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