Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Renewed conflict in DRC North Kivu leads to massive refugee influx into Uganda
Geneva, 26 December 2013
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
On the 25th of December 2013, the Uganda rebel group that was threatening the peace in the North Kivu attacked and took control of Kamango township sparking off a massive movement of an estimated 2,000 refugees into Uganda. The refugees cross through Bundibugyo border area and are transported into the UNHCR refugee reception centre of Bubukwanga.
According to the UNHCR contingency plan, this was bound to happen on the analysis that any attack by the FARDC/ MONUSCO on the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebel installations in North Kivu Province(Beni Territory) would spark off massive refugee movement of an approximated up to 30,000 new arrivals in 7,500 households.
Earlier in July 2013, Allied Democratic Front (ADF) launched an attack to Kamango town in Northern part of North Kivu displacing 66,000 refugees into Bundibugyo district.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
As refugees flee their homes, massive number of women with babies on their backs and children walking along with their few livestock and a few essentials wrapped in bed sheets helplessly seek for safety. They have suffered various forms of abuses before arriving at the transit centre. In addition, there is a struggle to survive as life in the camp means scarcity of food, water, shelter, beddings, light at night and general protection services.
3. National and international response
Security along the borders is tight while the UNHCR Head Office in Kampala has alerted all implementing and operating partners of an eminent influx and therefore requests them to activate the existing contingency plans in line with the UNHCR projections.
The reception centre has been active since July until early November when almost all refugees were relocated into Kyangwali refugee settlement.
ACT Alliance response
On the 25th December 2013, LWF assessment team joined the UNHCR team in a border visit to make a rapid assessment of the unfolding events but also to initiate the relocation of refugees to the transit centre. As a result, the relocation exercise was commissioned and by end of the day, 340 refugees had been relocated. The activity is still on going.
LWF attended all the contingency planning meetings regarding this possible influx where a significant amount of contribution was made. On the same note, LWF has a standby supply agreement with one of the main Non Food Items manufacturers in Uganda to deliver; plates, cups and laundry soap.
Plans are to revise running ACT appeal UGA132 to accommodate this new influx.
4. Planned activities
Provision of essential NFIs and protection services to new arrivals are the most critical need at Bubukwanga reception centre. The UNHCR selected the LWF to be the official implementing partner in Bubukwanga transit centre. Activities are planned to manage this camp including general reception management (including hot meal preparation), water and sanitation services, protection (including child protection and SGBV) and, shelter establishment, maintenance and repairs.
Financial resources required to meet the needs of the new and existing refugees.
Contact information for Uganda ACT Forum Convenor
Diakonia Uganda Country Programme
Phone: +256 (0) 414 533 820/+256 (0) 312 266070
Mobile: +256 772 224696, 759 224696
Fax: +256 (0) 414 533820
P.O. Box 28431, Kampala , Uganda
Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, Director of Finance (email@example.com)
For further information please contact:
ACT Senior Programme Officer, Katherine Ireri (phone +41 22 791 6040 or mobile phone +41 79 433 0592)
ACT Acting Deputy General Secretary and Director of Programmes, Pauliina Parhiala (phone + 41 22 7916069 or mobile phone + 41 79 963 5333)
ACT Web Site address: http://www.actalliance.org