July 18, 2013
By Simon Chambers
PWRDF has contributed an initial grant of $15,000 to a $400,000(US) ACT Alliance appeal to assist refugees who have fled the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into Uganda. This appeal seeks to meet the needs of the incoming refugees before they overtax the resources of the host communities in the Kamwenge District of Uganda.
Since July 2012, the Lutheran World Federation(LWF)’s Uganda office has been working with over 42,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Four out of every five refugees are children under the age of 17.
The current influx of refugees is threatening to overwhelm the resources ACT has already committed through LWF as over 66,000 new refugees have entered Uganda this month following fighting between the Ugandan army and a rebel group.
The newly arrived refugees are living wherever they can find space- in schools, churches, even in people’s gardens or verandas. The ACT Alliance appeal will provide 20,000 refugees with water and sanitation, 2,000 households with food security (access to enough healthy food to eat for the long term), and 10 villages with peace-building and conflict resolution services.
Mohammed Adar, he UN refugee agency’s country representative in Uganda, said “The situation is very dire. It’s overwhelming… given the massive arrivals of these refugees, and sudden number of this nature, in an area with very limited preparedness to extend humanitarian assistance.” Uganda already hosts more than 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers, over 60 percent of whom are from DRC.