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Due to COVID restrictions, getting essential items to communities affected by conflict in DRC is incredibly challenging. Yet thanks to Irish Aid support to Trócaire, emergency relief supplies are now reaching thousands displaced by the recent fighting.
A 40-tonne shipment of emergency humanitarian supplies is being distributed to communities displaced by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The supplies include thousands of fleece blankets, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and solar LED lamps, as well as family-sized tents and tarpaulins. These are being distributed to 1,500 families who have been displaced in conflict affected areas of Ituri province.
Over five million people have had to flee their homes due to the ongoing conflict in DRC. In recent months, intense fighting and extreme violence in Ituri province in the North East of DRC has resulted in over 200,000 people becoming displaced.
The UN reports that civilians have been killed, houses have been set on fire and women have been raped. More than 1.2 million displaced people in Ituri live in camps or stay within host communities in towns and villages.
At the same time, COVID-19 has hit DRC in recent months. There have been over 9,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 200 deaths, with the actual number likely to be higher due to lack of testing.
Government imposed COVID restrictions have made it incredibly challenging to get much-needed humanitarian supplies into Ituri province. For this reason, Irish Aid have supplied emergency humanitarian supplies to Trócaire in order to respond quickly to the humanitarian needs of displaced people.
The supplies are being distributed to the most vulnerable families, with 80% being female headed households.
“This support from the Irish government through Irish Aid will now enable us to reach thousands of people in DRC” said Saah Nyambe Lebreton, Trócaire Country Director for DRC.
“Imagine being forced to flee your village, with your house being burnt down, leaving behind everything you owned to seek shelter and safety. We are providing some support and hope to these people who have been through so much.”
“Receiving simple items like a tent, a blanket, and a solar lamp can mean the world to these people who have left behind everything as they fled fighting. Hygiene items are particularly essential as people try to also protect themselves from COVID-19”.
“As Irish people face an unprecedented crisis at home, it means so much to people here in DRC that Ireland is still supporting those affected by conflict to live a life of dignity. This solidarity and compassion is remarkable.”
This life-saving emergency distribution in DRC is an example of how impactful overseas aid projects can be. Our ‘Build Back Better’ campaign is calling on Ireland and the UK to protect overseas aid.