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The Salvation Army Provides Assistance to People Fleeing Conflict in the Congo

Congo (June 25, 2012)—Ongoing instability and violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is causing humanitarian problems in the country and across its borders. The Salvation Army is responding to the needs of internally displaced people in DRC and to refugees in Rwanda and Uganda.

In Mugunga Camp, DRC, The Salvation Army has already provided food to almost 10,000 people but more is urgently needed. ‘There is a great need for food,’ reports Captain Dieudonné Tsilulu, after a monitoring visit to the camp, ‘because other organizations have not yet started food distribution.’ The other big need is for plastic sheets to provide at least some basic form of shelter.

In Rwanda, The Salvation Army has now started two projects. One is to distribute clothes and supplementary food to pregnant and breast-feeding mothers in refugee camps. The other project will address the provision of medication, with many of the displaced people suffering from major health issues. Both projects are being implemented in coordination with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and other UN agencies working in the camps.

Uganda has also seen an influx of refugees. The Salvation Army is providing relief food and drinking water to 6,000 refugees, and further projects are planned. A team deployed by The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services is on its way to Uganda to assist with the task. The team consists of experienced emergency services workers Major Comfort Adepojou from Nigeria, Major Ray Mackereth from the UK and Willemijn Bijl from The Netherlands.

The Salvation Army Assists People Displaced by Fighting in Democratic Republic of Congo

London (May 31, 2012) – The Salvation Army in central Africa is responding to a growing humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes because of fighting between government troops and rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of the displaced people are living in temporary camps within the country but many have fled across the eastern border, seeking safety in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

In Rwanda, Salvation Army project officer Major Robert Tuftström reports: ‘We have had a large increase in Congolese refugees coming over the border.’ During an assessment visit to the Nkamira Transit Camp in Rubavu District it became apparent that living conditions were very poor. Clean water and food is in short supply, and many people have travelled without even the most basic of possessions – including clothing. The camp was set up to house 2,500 people but it is now home to almost 8,500, with more arriving every day.

An initial payment of US$20,000 has been sent to Rwanda from International Headquarters. Following the assessment, and working alongside other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the funds will be used to provide clothing and food, with a particular focus on breast-feeding mothers.

A further US$20,000 has been sent to The Salvation Army’s Democratic Republic of Congo Territory to fund the emergency supply of food to 10,000 internally displaced persons.

The Salvation Army in Uganda is currently conducting an assessment in order to decide how best to offer support to Congolese refugees.

In all three countries, The Salvation Army will look to provide as much ongoing support as funds allow. All signs point to the likelihood that the situation will worsen over the coming weeks.