Press release 155/2013
18 July 2013
On Thursday 18 July, by the decision of the Minister for International Development, Heidi Hautala, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted 70,000 euros in humanitarian assistance for refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Uganda. The assistance will be channelled through the Finnish development cooperation organisation Fida International.
The new package follows up on Finland’s earlier humanitarian assistance in the African Great Lakes region. Recurring humanitarian crises mean that there are now almost half a million DRC refugees in the region, and the number of displaced persons is estimated at 2.6 million.
The most recent wave of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Uganda started on 11 July when a group of rebels called the Allied Democratic Front attacked the eastern Congolese town of Kamango. In the past week alone the attack and the resulting violence has forced some 66,00 people to flee across the border into western Uganda.
Fida International is supporting the efforts of the Ugandan government and UN aid organisations to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the newly arrived refugees. Finnish funding will be used to acquire blankets and sleeping pads. In 2013 the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted a total of 980,000 euros to support the humanitarian efforts of Fida International to alleviate the needs caused by the Congolese crisis.
Additional information: Head of Unit for Humanitarian Assistance Anna Gebremedhin, tel. +358 295 351 038 and Counsellor Kaisa Heikkilä, tel. +358 295 350 546