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November 4 2008

Let Us Help the North-Kivu Populaces (DR Congo). An appeal by the Community of Sant'Egidio

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"Many of them are wandering from one place to another, restless, having lost everything – living in the bare hope that this war will end once and for all ".

This was written by Corneille, of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Goma. She was despicting for us the plight of the refugees from the war that is ravaging eastern Congo.

Over the past few days, in fact, the violent conflict in the North Kivu region has brought the rebels to the gates of the city of Goma. The government troops, before abandoning the city to its fate, sacked it and pillaged it, singling out medical centers and hospitals repeatedly.

The Community of Sant'Egidio has been present in the Kivu region for years, helping especially homeless street children.

Many messages are arriving of a desperate situation, of refugees wandering the city’s streets without anywhere to turn. Heavy rains increase their hardships and the risks of epidemics.

There is urgent need for tents, clothing and medicine

Corneille continues:

"Many of the refugees have undergone at least three forced removals over the past months: from Kanombe to Rugari, then from Kibumba and now they are in the Kanyaruchinya and  Don Bosco camps. Many of them are sleeping in the open. Some have moved into the school, which are, however, without any water supplies. We have noted some basic need, above all from the medical point of view: the most common illnesses among the refugees are typhoid fever, malaria, bronchitis, and diarrhea. The heavy rains of this season are making things much worse. It is vital to give these people tents to shelter them and clothes to cover them."




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