UNHCR transports fresh aid supplies for displaced in North Kivu

News Stories, 11 November 2008

© UNHCR/P.Taggart
A young boy rests on the floor inside his family's makeshift shelter in Kibati.

GOMA, Democratic Republic of the Congo, November 11 (UNHCR) While the situation remains volatile in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN refugee agency has been transporting aid supplies for thousands of internally displaced Congolese in North Kivu province.

On Monday, a UNHCR-chartered plane carrying 36 tonnes of relief supplies from the agency's central emergency stockpile in Dubai arrived in Entebbe airport. From there, some 1,500 bales of plastic sheeting and three prefabricated warehouses will be flown on Wednesday to Goma, provincial capital of North Kivu.

The rest of the items (3,000 jerry cans, 2,650 plastic sheets, 7,500 blankets and 1,500 kitchen sets) will be moved by road from Entebbe to Bunia, in the DRC. UNHCR has already trucked in non-food items for some 50,000 people from a regional warehouse in Ngara, Tanzania.

The distribution of the non-food items will commence once the World Food Programme has completed a food distribution, probably on Wednesday. Priority will be given to new arrivals.

Despite some shooting reported on Sunday, no major population movements have been reported in Kibati camp on the northern outskirts of Goma. But a UNHCR spokesman said: "We remain extremely concerned about the security of 67,500 internally displaced Congolese civilians in the two Kibati camps."

Most of the displaced, 65,000, are in Kibati I camp, but UNHCR has moved 743 families to Kibati II and more transfers are expected in the coming days to ease the pressure on Kibati I. UNHCR has also erected six large portable warehouse tents as emergency shelter at Kibati for some 1,200 people.

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres has again appealed to all sides in the conflict to respect the civilian character of the camps, to respect humanitarian principles and to ensure the safety of civilians and humanitarian workers.

UNHCR is also extremely concerned over the reported displacement of thousands of people in Rutshuru and Kanyabayonga, north of Goma, where access is not possible because of continuing insecurity.

Meanwhile, a UNHCR team on Tuesday went to visit some 3,000 Congolese refugees who crossed into Uganda after fleeing from the Ishasha area. Some 13,500 to 15,000 refugees have crossed into Uganda to escape the latest fighting.

Fighting in North Kivu intensified at the end of 2006. By January 2008, it had brought the total number of IDPs in the region to more than 800,000. Since the fighting resumed in August, some 250,000 civilians have fled, many of them already displaced.

By David Nthengwe in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo




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Sri Lanka: IDPs and Returnees

During Sri Lanka's 20-year civil war more than 1 million people were uprooted from their homes or forced to flee, often repeatedly. Many found shelter in UNHCR-supported Open Relief Centers, in government welfare centers or with relatives and friends.

In February 2002, the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signed a cease-fire accord and began a series of talks aimed at negotiating a lasting peace. By late 2003, more than 300,000 internally displaced persons had returned to their often destroyed towns and villages.

In the midst of these returns, UNHCR provided physical and legal protection to war affected civilians – along with financing a range of special projects to provide new temporary shelter, health and sanitation facilities, various community services, and quick and cheap income generation projects.

Sri Lanka: IDPs and Returnees

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

As a massive food distribution gets underway in six UNHCR-run camps for tens of thousands of internally displaced Congolese in North Kivu, the UN refugee agency continues to hand out desperately needed shelter and household items.

A four-truck UNHCR convoy carrying 33 tonnes of various aid items, including plastic sheeting, blankets, kitchen sets and jerry cans crossed Wednesday from Rwanda into Goma, the capital of the conflict-hit province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The aid, from regional emergency stockpiles in Tanzania, was scheduled for immediate distribution. The supplies arrived in Goma as the World Food Programme (WFP), with assistance from UNHCR, began distributing food to some 135,000 displaced people in the six camps run by the refugee agency near Goma.

More than 250,000 people have been displaced since the fighting resumed in August in North Kivu. Estimates are that there are now more than 1.3 million displaced people in this province alone.

Posted on 6 November 2008

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

Since 2006, renewed conflict and general insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo's North Kivu province has forced some 400,000 people to flee their homes – the country's worst displacement crisis since the formal end of the civil war in 2003. In total, there are now some 800,000 people displaced in the province, including those uprooted by previous conflicts.

Hope for the future was raised in January 2008 when the DRC government and rival armed factions signed a peace accord. But the situation remains tense in North Kivu and tens of thousands of people still need help. UNHCR has opened sites for internally displaced people (IDPs) and distributed assistance such as blankets, plastic sheets, soap, jerry cans, firewood and other items to the four camps in the region. Relief items have also been delivered to some of the makeshift sites that have sprung up.

UNHCR staff have been engaged in protection monitoring to identify human rights abuses and other problems faced by IDPs and other populations at risk across North Kivu.

UNHCR's ninemillion campaign aims to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for nine million refugee children by 2010.

Posted on 28 May 2008

UNHCR/Partners Bring Aid to North Kivu

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