Emergency Assistance to the Displaced Population in Bunia, DRC

November 1, 2008

The situation as of November 2008 is that there is an estimated 250,000 newly displaced individuals adding to the 850,000 persons that have been displaced over the last two years. This number is expected to grow even larger. Humanitarian organizations are struggling to get access to the displaced persons and many aid workers have been evacuated as fighting is currently on going, causing hundred of thousands of people without any kind of support.

In response to these recent developments REI will provide emergency funding to support the Christian Blind Mission, Ireland (CBM) group with their efforts to provide approximately 6600 persons or 1 200 families from the refugees camps of in Vilo and Sona in the Bunia region IDPs in the affected area with:

  • Emergency medical aid; 
  • Food support and 
  • Non food support (Hygiene, shelter, mosquito nets)

Priority will be given to persons with disability both children and adults who have been identified thus far in the Bunia areas where CBM is active.

CBM has disability clinics and health workers trained in treating the needs of people with disabilities. Over the last month they have had their resources stretched to capacity on a daily basis. The disability hospitals and clinics are inundated every day, as huge numbers of people come seeking urgent treatment. Local surgeons, trained by CBM, are struggling to treat the injured with limited resources. As they conduct general and orthopaedic surgery, they know there is no guarantee that necessary medication and supplies will be available for further treatment. Community Based Rehabilitation Workers are doing regular assessment of the camps situation and provided food support.

The areas of Masisi, Rutshuru, Saki and Bogoro (in the Bunia region) are at the forefront of this new crisis and in many areas vast numbers people have almost no access to any aid, other than what CBM can provide. These are remote areas of the DRC within which CBM is usually the only NGO present.

CBM Ireland is an organization established as a fully registered Irish Charity in 2002. It is also an autonomous voluntary member association of CBM International which was founded in 1908.


29,621 people received emergency aid including disabled and non-disabled people, old, middle aged, young people and children and displaced people as well as host families. 14 distributions took place in IDP camps in Sona, Vilo and Soke, Bogoro, Lakpa, Nombe and Kagaba villages and one distribution also took place in Butembo for the IDPs from Kanyabayonga area.

6 Mobile clinics were organized in Sona, Vilo, Soke and Aveba IDP camps. There were 18 PWDs that were transferred to Uganda for orthopaedic surgery and prosthesis; 3 tricycles were provided and 58 people suffering from epilepsy were given medication. 592 people with different eye diseases received medical care and 15 displaced disabled people are acquiring skill knowledge. Along with that, 4 sensitization campaigns for HIV and handicap prevention took place in IDP camps in Vilo, Sona, Soke and Aveba. During the time, some medicines were used also for IDPs and the host community in Bogoro village of about 3,000 people. In the host community, they did not have any medication for malaria, typhoid fever and worms which were the main diseases in the village

In addition, non-food item were also distributed, such as soap, blankets and mosquito nets and so on.

Case study

El Fadil Suliman –five years old, had a problem with the eye lashes in both eyes. It looked like the lashes were cut and a pale color could be seen in the place of the removed hair. The main problem is that his eyes wouldn’t close, awake or sleeping. Dr. Nabila was able to repair the affected area through surgery and he can now close his eyes with comfort.