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Episcopal Relief & Development Provides Emergency Aid to Internally Displaced People in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, violent conflict between rebel forces and the government has caused massive displacement in the province of North Kivu in the eastern part of the country. According to the Rt. Rev. Bahati Bali-Busane Sylvestre of the Diocese of Bukavu, rebel groups have focused their attacks on innocent civilians and rapes and murders have dramatically increased in this region. Reports also indicate that more than 7,000 families from the city of Goma and surrounding communities have been forced to flee their homes.

The majority of the displaced people are women and children. Many are now vulnerable to disease due to poor sanitation and health conditions in the temporary camps.

NetsforLife® partner, the Rt. Rev. Albert Chama of Zambia will provide details about the work in country. The program partnership will be represented by Executive Director, Shaun Walsh; William Asiko, President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation; Dr. Steven Phillips of Exxon Mobil; Rob Radtke, President of Episcopal Relief & Development and Chairman of the Board of Episcopal Relief & Development, the Rt. Rev. Robert J. O’Neill, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado.

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Diocese of Bukavu to provide critical emergency assistance in the form of food and sanitation supplies to displaced people in the North-Kivu region.

"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, Africa Programs for Episcopal Relief & Development. "We remain in close contact with our partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo and ask for people around the Church to join us in prayer for a peaceful end to the conflict."

To support people who have been displaced by this disaster, please make a contribution to Episcopal Relief & Development's "Disaster Response Fund" by visiting or calling 1.800.334.7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief & Development "Disaster Response Fund" P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

Episcopal Relief & Development is the international relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church of the United States. As an independent 501(c) (3) organization, Episcopal Relief & Development takes its mandate from Jesus’ words found in Matthew 25. Its programs work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Together with the worldwide Church and ecumenical partners, Episcopal Relief & Development strengthens communities today to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We rebuild after disasters and empower people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty, hunger and disease, including HIV/AIDS and malaria.

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