Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ERD Responds to Renewed Violence in the Congo

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) is partnering with the Diocese of Bukavu in the Anglican Church of the Congo after renewed violence between government and rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo caused massive displacement in the eastern part of the African country.

According to the Rt. Rev. Bahati Bali-Busane Sylvestre, Bishop of Bukavu, the rebel soldiers have focused their attacks on civilians in the form of rape and murder. An estimated 7,000 families have been forced to flee their homes in the city of Goma and surrounding areas. The majority of the evacuees are women and children, many of whom are vulnerable to disease and malnutrition made worse by the poor sanitation and crowded conditions in the camps.

In partnership with the Diocese of Bukavu, ERD is providing food and sanitation supplies.

“The threat of attack persists in the regions surrounding Goma and it is uncertain when families will be able to safely return to their homes,” said Janette O’Neill, senior director of Africa programs for ERD. “We remain in close contact with our partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo and ask for people around the church join us in prayer for a peaceful end to the conflict.”


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