Marceline Dusabimana, 36, a mother of six children, waits in turn to receive oil, maize flour, beans and salt.from caritas. Credit: Taylor Toeka/Caritas Goma
By Taylor Toeka Kakala , Caritas Goma
The sun begins to break as a long line of tired women and anxious men forms in front of the Caritas Goma food distribution point.
In the middle of the line, Marceline Dusabimana, 36, a mother of six children, waits in turn to receive oil, maize flour, beans and salt.
As most of the beneficiaries present, Marceline fled the fighting between the Congolese army and rebels of the M23 that started six months ago.
“I have witnessed war for the past 15 years. I moved from one camp to another. We are completely dependent on humanitarian aid, because we lack the means to buy food,” she said.
Caritas has started the distribution of food from the World Food Programme (WFP) for 9,983 displaced families in Mugunga camp. These initial distributions consist of a three-day ration.
Conflict in North Kivu has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation and uprooted more than 750,000 people from their region of origin. Among them, 250,000 newly displaced people have fled the fighting between the regular army and the M23.
“I watched my husband die in Kibumba before I took flight with my kids to the Kanyaruchinya camp”, she said.
The situation in Goma is now at the centre of attention. It has always been a catalyst for many issues and a place for rural populations seeking safety from the danger of the hills.
However, the presence of so many people forced from their homes contributes to environmental degradation and worsening health conditions as overcrowding increases the proliferation of disease.
Caritas Goma is the local diocesan Caritas, part of the national member Caritas Congo. Caritas has launched an appeal for more than US $2.6 million to assist the most vulnerable as well as provide protection for 60’000 people displaced by the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.