Broke NGOs battle Congolese crisis in Uganda

DRCfrom PHYLLIS BIRORI in Kigali, Rwanda
KIGALI, (CAJ News) – THE cash-strapped humanitarian community is battling an influx of Congolese refugees fleeing inter-ethnic violence and sexual crimes into Uganda.

Victims, most of them women and children (78 percent), have sought refuge in western Uganda.

Last week alone, more than 4 000 people crossed into Uganda from the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.

These numbers are on a larger scale still than in 2017 when some 44 000 fled over the course of the entire year.

The majority continue to cross into Uganda via Lake Albert in rickety and unsafe boats from Ituri, a journey that has already cost the lives of several refugees.

The situation has been even more dangerous in recent days because of bad weather.

Babar Baloch, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson, said several new arrivals in Uganda were in deep trauma from the violence in DRC.

“Many are exhausted, hungry, thirsty, sick and have fled with few or no belongings,” Baloch said.

UNHCR fears thousands more could arrive in Uganda if the security situation does not immediately improve inside where militia groups are accused of murder and rape.

A raging cholera outbreak has meanwhile killed more than 30 Congolese refugees at camps in Uganda. However, reported cases have gone down from 668 to 160 since the outbreak in February.

UN has appealed for US$180 million (R2,15 billion) to assist the Congolese in Uganda.

Only 3 percent of the funding has been secured hence needs for food, water, shelter and healthcare remain extensive. – CAJ News

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Posted by on Mar 19 2018. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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