Distribution of clothing in DRC
UNHCR is scheduled to start distribution today of clothing to some 50,000 internally displaced persons and returnees in the Gety and Kagaba camps in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The distribution of the used clothing will help address one of the most pressing humanitarian needs faced by the internally displaced population. It is being carried out with ADSSE, a local Congolese NGO. The entire exercise should be completed by 11 November.
The Gety camp for internally displaced persons is by far the largest in the DRC. The camp is divided into 27 districts, housing more than 46,000 people. The distribution in Kagaba camp, housing almost 13,000 internally displaced persons, is scheduled to start on 10 November.
The majority of the IDPs who live in the Gety and Kagaba camps arrived between June and July 2006 after fleeing clashes between the army and rebel forces.
Most of them left all their belongings behind.
The overall needs of internally displaced in DRC are great. With insufficient food stocks, difficult access to basic health care, overcrowded conditions in the camps, limited access to potable water and no functioning schools, every day is a struggle for survival. Increased access to these vulnerable populations allows UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies to build protective environments for these communities.
In October, UNHCR provided more than 6,300 IDPs in Katanga province with a return package, including kitchen sets, mosquito nets, blankets, plastic sheets, jerry cans and tools for the construction of basic shelter. We are also currently planning return and reintegration assistance projects that should allow the return of 25 percent of the IDPs from the Gety and Kagaba camps during the first months of 2007.
At the beginning of the year, there were an estimated 1.6 million internally displaced in the DRC - 375,000 of them are in Ituri. Thousands have since begun returning to their homes across the country.