Caritas launches emergency appeal to help 90,000 displaced by Congolese fighting


The Catholic charity Caritas has launched an emergency appeal to help 90,000 people who have fled their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Renewed fighting in North and South Kivu has displaced more than 100,000 people since the end of August.

Caritas’ appeal for more than $1.5 million will help fund the urgent non-food needs of people uprooted in North Kivu, a press release states. The five-month project will provide household articles such as blankets, hygiene products and cooking equipment to 15,000 families who have lost their homes and possessions in the violence.

Caritas DRC has reported at least 17 deaths from cholera at a camp west of Goma. Some cases of malnutrition have also been reported among children and nursing mothers.

Last week Caritas DRC urged a ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian corridor as clashes between government troops and rebels have hampered access to people in need of urgent help.

The fighting continues despite the Congolese Government’s approval of a UN plan for all sides to withdraw their forces on 17 September. A ceasefire had been signed in January 2008.

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