Congolese need help after villages burnt
16 October 2008
Caritas is appealing for funds to provide urgently needed help to people in Congo uprooted after violent attacks by Ugandan rebels.
Vue partielle du camp Nzulo autour de Goma (Ph. GM Kamandji)
The emergency appeal for US$440,000 will ensure that 4000 families who have fled their homes are provided with clothes, blankets, cooking utensils and hygiene items.
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels have burnt villages, raped and killed people during incursions into the north-east of Congo since early September. Many of the people fled the violence without their possessions.
A number of people are currently hosted in other people’s homes, while others sleep in the open air and are exposed to the elements as it is currently the rainy season.
Caritas Congo reports that the poor living conditions mean people - young children in particular - are at risk of diarrhoea and malaria.
Children have also been unable to go to school because their families have lost everything.
Attacks by the LRA on the civilian population in eastern Congo form part of a surge in violence in the area over the past few months.
Earlier in October, Caritas launched an emergency appeal to help 90,000 people made homeless by clashes between government troops and Congolese rebels in North and South Kivu.
Despite the signing of a ceasefire in January 2008 and UN efforts to restore calm, eastern Congo remains highly unstable and the civilian population desperately needs assistance because of this.
Caritas activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo include peace building, education, access to health services and HIV prevention.
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