Continued violence in the Central African Republic has caused waves of refugees—nearly 30,000 since December—to migrate into the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In March, the American Red Cross sent disaster specialist Colin Chaperon to join a multi-national Red Cross team assessing the situation. And now, the American Red Cross has committed $150,000 to a global appeal for relief supplies in the country.
The concerns following the team’s assessment were alarming. Many children had traveled unaccompanied and as a result were suffering from nightmares and needed to be reconnected with family members. In addition, the spontaneous settlements developing along the banks of the Ubangi River lacked access to services such as shelter, food and clean water that the formal UN camps offered to refugees.
The American Red Cross contribution will help provide the DRC Red Cross with basic relief materials and supplies for vulnerable populations. Over the past seven months, the DRC Red Cross has supported over 1,700 refugees in two rural communities along the Ubangi River with basic relief supplies, health services, water and sanitation activities and support with reconnecting separated family members.