Help people caught up in the Congo crisis through Christian Aid

By agency reporter
November 3, 2008

Give a disaster emergency kit through Christian Aid's Present Aid site here

Help Christian Aid respond to the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has forced thousands of people from their homes.

Christian Aid partners are working there now and will be there for the long term.

An estimated 250,000 people have fled their homes in the past two months to escape fighting between government troops, UN peacekeepers and rebel forces in north and south Kivu and around the regional capital of Goma, close to the Rwandan border in eastern DRC.

With the situation worsening daily, Christian Aid's local partners are continuing to support families as they try to keep their lives intact through these insecure times. But more help is needed.

"The current situation is incredibly tense," says Jacques Miaglia, Christian Aid's DRC country representative. "People are confused and scared and constantly on the move.

"In Goma, normally home to 1 million people, it is very quiet with many people in hiding. No shops are open and not many people are on the streets. But in other areas we are already hearing of families trying to go home.

"We’ve worked here with our partners throughout this conflict," says Miaglia.

"We’ll be here to help people start again and recover from the trauma of war, but we urgently need more funds if we are to reach more families."

Christian Aid has worked with local partner organisations in eastern DRC for 12 years.

It now wants to ensure those who have suffered so much are able to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

So partners will offer psychological support to families returning home after fleeing the fighting. Additionally, they will offer loans and training so that families can restart work and earn an income once again.

In 1998 a brutal war five-year war broke out in the DRC. More than 5 million people died and an estimated 2 million were forced from their homes.

In 2003 a peace deal was struck, which led to the signing of a new constitution, but the peace, which has always been fragile, has broken down in eastern DRC.

Christian Aid needs your donations to respond to this crisis. Christian Aid is urging the UK government to use its influence to help secure peace in the DRC as escalating violence threatens to plunge the country back into war.

Christian Aid believes the British government, as a major donor to the DRC and Rwanda, has a vital and unique role to play in securing peace for DRC and the wider region.

It must act to bring everyone involved in the conflict back to the negotiating table in order to implement the existing peace agreement and prevent further humanitarian disaster.

You can give a disaster emergency kit through Christian Aid's Present Aid site by clicking here

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