Congo: Italy sends humanitarian aid

The Italian Embassy in Kinshasa, in collaboration with the Italian cooperation office in the city of Goma and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will launch a 20-day  humanitarian assistance initiative on behalf of the refugees in North Kivu region. The Italian initiative will benefit 9000 families, an estimated 50,000 people.

Essential supplies will be distributed along the Rutshuru-Goma geographical axis with the logistical support of Italian NGOs Coopi and Avsi. The convoys will use the humanitarian corridors controlled by the military personnel of the UN’s MONUC mission.

Immediately after the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo deteriorated so rapidly, foreign minister Franco Frattini issued instructions for an emergency fund of 900,000 euros to be set up in the Italian Embassy to provide for medical care and accommodation for the displaced persons from Kivu region. Of this fund, 300,000 euros were to be used to buy emergency supplies for distribution through the UNHCR.

This initiative by Italian development cooperation comes after numerous working meetings at the Italian Embassy with the main representatives of the humanitarian agencies accredited in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and most notably with UNHCR, OCHA and UNICEF.

This coordination made it possible to identify the priority supplies to purchase and the priority areas for distribution. It also helped identify the best method to ensure effective action, storage, personnel transfers and security, and distribution.

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