(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

NGO assists 1,500 households in Uvira

Country Map - DRC (Uvira)

A local NGO in Uvira, in the eastern province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), distributed non-food relief aid to 1,500 vulnerable households on Thursday, an official told IRIN.

In a statement, the executive secretary of the Eben-Ezer Ministry, Lazare Sebitereko, said international NGO Save the Children Fund financed the relief aid, which comprised kitchen tools, clothing and blankets.

Families in the Plain of Ruzizi in Uvira, mainly returnees and other vulnerable households, benefited from the distribution. Sebitereko said the effort focused on Kiliba, Runingu, Matarure, Ruberize and Bwegera locations.

Sebitereko said many families were resettling after six years of conflict.

"It is our hope that with the end of war, people shall no longer need to live on relief assistance," he said. "Tomorrow, people must think about justice, development and economic reforms which will help people live by their own production."

In October 2003, an assessment mission conducted jointly by several UN agencies found widespread humanitarian needs in Uvira and other parts of the province. The assessment team said that priority domains for intervention were reported to be protection/security, water, health and food security.

The mission was conducted from 16 to 20 October by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Children's Fund.

The team visited the region estimated to have about 375,000 people, including 76,500 internally displaced persons, 44,500 internal returnees and 5,000 returnees from Tanzania - many of whom had been refugees for five to seven years.

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