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Concern receives Irish Aid shipment

Ireland's Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD  has announced the successful arrival of an airlift of emergency supplies to people displaced by ongoing violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The shipment of non-food items will be distributed by Concern Worldwide’s team and will benefit 6,000 displaced families.

Much needed shelter

“The situation of people displaced by the fighting in eastern Congo is of deep concern and this shipment was organised under the Government’s Rapid Response Initiative,” the Minister said. “The cargo of blankets and plastic sheeting has been allocated to the Irish NGO, Concern, to support the excellent work they are doing among displaced people. It will provide much needed warmth and shelter to 6,000 vulnerable families.”

Commenting on the arrival of the shipment, Concern’s Country Director Pete McNichol said: “This is a very timely boost to a critical humanitarian situation where over 1.3 million people have been displaced by the recent fighting, 250,000 of those since August.”

The shipment arrived by air to Kigali, Rwanda and was transported by road to Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is now being distributed. It consists of stocks drawn from Irish Aid,  the UN World Food Programme and World Vision International. The Irish Aid stocks include 18,000 blankets and 6,000 rolls of plastic sheeting, which is used to make temporary shelter for those displaced.

View picture gallery of the supplies being delivered

Emergency response

Concern has been implementing an emergency response programme since June. This programme addresses the needs of over 13,000 displaced people living in camps in Masisi Territory in North Kivu. It also offers support to families hosting the displaced from other areas.

Assistance has included distribution of tools and seeds to host families to allow people to grow enough food to live on. Essential non-food items such as blankets, jerrycans, soap, mosquito nets and clothing have been distributed to people in the four camps around Masisi town. There has been a cash injection to the local economy through a cash-for-work scheme to rehabilitate key access roads and bridges.

The Concern team are currently conducting assessments to identify the needs of newly displaced families following recent violence.