EU offers emergency aid funds for Congo refugees in Uganda
London, Jan. 31, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The European Union has announced a 100,000 Euros humanitarian funding towards Congolese refugees in Uganda.
“Following a recent influx of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into Uganda, the European Commission has made an initial 100,000 Euros in humanitarian funding available for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC),” EU announced on Wednesday.
Emmanuel D. Gyezaho, the Press and Information Officer at EU in Uganda said the funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and will allow the Uganda Red Cross Society to assist 6,000 newly arrived Congolese refugees from Djugu in Ituri province.
EU said majority of these refugees form Congo are reaching Uganda in rickety fishing boats across Lake Albert before being transferred to Kyangwali Refugee Settlement. “However, many of the fleeing Congolese are unable to pay for the journey across the lake. An estimated 65 percent of the refugees are children,” added the communication.
Since December 1 2017, 13,970 refugees have arrived from DRC’s Ituri and North Kivu provinces, bringing the total number of Congolese refugees in Uganda to over 242,000. The refugees reportedly fled a new cycle of intercommunal violence which saw armed groups killing, looting and torching houses.
“EU funding is being released to increase the safe water supply and improve sanitation, hygiene and health services. It is crucial that we provide dignified living conditions and prevent disease outbreaks,” said Isabelle D’Haudt, Head of Office for EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid in Kampala.
Old and new conflicts in DRC have driven an estimated 4.4 million Congolese from their homes. The vast majority, 3.9 million people, are internally displaced in DRC. The remaining half a million are refugees in neighbouring countries.