UGANDA CARE distributes emergency supplies to DRC refugees

 Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda
 Emergency Response
 5th Dec 2008

Matanda refugee camp, UGANDA (December 5, 2008) – Congolese refugees flooding into transit camps in neighbouring Uganda desperately need food and emergency supplies, says CARE emergency staff in Matanda transit camp. CARE has already distributed 2,000 tarps in the camp, after more than 11,000 people arrived here in the past week, fleeing the violence in the North Kivu region of DR Congo.

Before the tarps were distributed, many refugees were sleeping in an open field, without even trees to shelter under. At night, the temperatures drop to 10C.

“The people do not have enough blankets,” said David Sunday, CARE’s logistics officer in the camp. “When you look at the number of people lining up, you can see that there isn’t enough for everyone. These people came with nothing. Absolutely nothing. Yesterday it rained, and if you don’t have a tarp, there is nowhere to take shelter.”

There are already more than 11,000 refugees in the Matanda transit camp, and the numbers are increasing as registration continues. Aid agencies in the camp are providing health, water and child protection services, but there is a huge need for food and other emergency supplies, such as tarps, mosquito nets and kitchen items, said Sunday.

More than 27,000 Congolese refugees have crossed into Uganda in the past week alone, bringing the total number to more than 50,000, according to the UN.

In Goma, DR Congo, CARE has already distributed emergency supplies such as clothing, shelter materials, and water purification tablets for more than 8,000 displaced people, and is providing cholera treatment and creating a referral program in partnership with other agencies for survivors of sexual violence. In the heavily-affected area of Birambizo, North Kivu, CARE is starting a program to provide support to survivors of sexual violence, livelihoods activities, water and sanitation facilities, and rehabilitating health care centres, including the provision of medicines and training for health workers.

About CARE: CARE is one of the world’s largest independent aid organizations providing emergency relief and development projects in nearly 70 countries around the world. CARE has been working in the DRC since 2002, providing programs in the areas of health and nutrition, livelihoods, environmental protection, and good governance. CARE has been providing development and humanitarian assistance in Uganda since 1969.

Media Contact:
Melanie Brooks, brooks@careinternational.org; mobile +41.795.903.047 (Geneva)

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