More than 60,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrived in Uganda since the beginning of the year. An ongoing CARE gender-based violence assessment found that many women had directly experienced or witnessed at least one form of gender-based violence. CARE is responding in the refugee camps with gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health services for women who have been displaced.
Read refugee stories from Uganda
The humanitarian situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate, with millions of people at risk of starvation between now and the harvest season in October. Hyper-inflation is putting the cost of food out of reach of the majority while the continuing conflict and unpredictable weather, including prolonged dry spells, have badly affected agricultural activities. CARE is assisting families with seeds, tools and peer-to-peer training on improved farming techniques.
Read how CARE is helping women farmers like Mary and Natalia
Zia Choudhury, CARE Bangladesh country director, says that the imminent rainy season means that Kutupalong-Balukhali camp – the most densely crowded refugee camp in the world, hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Myanmar – is standing at the edge of a disaster:
The land is hilly, fragile and entirely unsuited to unplanned settlement at this scale. The shelters are tightly packed on all available land, leaving just small gaps for roads and drainage. Many of the shelters are precariously perched on very inappropriate places, including the slope of the hills. We’re deeply concerned that during cyclone and torrential rains many of the shelters will simply collapse and wash away.
CARE warns that 100,000 refugees are risk: read how CARE is working to help prepare people in the camps
Following the magnitude 7.5 earthquake in February, CARE has so far assisted over 3,000 people in Western and Hela provinces with items including hygiene kits, clothing, cooking utensils, mosquito nets, gardening/livelihoods tools, tarps, and medical kit. Our gender analysis of the humanitarian situation finds that women and girls are likely to be placed at particular risk due to their increased workload and caring responsibilities following the earthquake, and our ongoing response aims to be gender-sensitive and address the particular needs of women and girls.
Renewed inter-ethnic conflicts, cholera and measles epidemics, and severe food insecurity are contributing to a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the DRC. David Bisimwa, CARE’s Emergency Coordinator in DRC, said:
Every day, people across Congo are dying because of conflict and violence, and right now there’s not enough resources to help them all.
In neighbouring Uganda, where over 125,000 refugees from the DRC have arrived, Gloria (name changed) says:
DRC will never have peace – if there’s no war today, there’s war tomorrow.
Read more in this report published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.