Oxfam International Blogs - Democratic Republic of Congo http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/tags/democratic-republic-congo es How to Build Community Trust to Fight Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81952 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>The world’s second-biggest Ebola outbreak is still raging in DRC, with more than 1,200 cases and 800 deaths. Research has shown that distrust is one of the biggest obstacles in this Ebola fight. Oxfam's Andrea Vera outlines three ways to work with local communities to build their trust and increase the success of an Ebola response in a conflict context.</strong></em></p><p>On April 19, 2019, an epidemiologist deployed by the World Health Organization in the Ebola outbreak response was <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/04/23/716121928/the-doctor-killed-in-fridays-ebola-attack-was-dedicated-but-also-afraid?t=1556284340775" rel="nofollow">killed in an armed attack</a> and his colleagues injured. Just a few days earlier, other attacks had taken place in Beni territory on an <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/drc-ebola-treatment-centre-attacked-killed-190309135835087.html" rel="nofollow">Ebola treatment center in Butembo</a> where armed men were engaged in a gunfight with security forces for about half an hour before the situation was contained.</p><p>Terrified patients fled the hospital, despite suffering the painful symptoms of Ebola. It took weeks for response teams to find them. The message of those who fled was clear: their fear of dying from an attack was greater than their hope of being cured in the Ebola treatment center.</p><p>In a country where communities build their own health clinics, it is a rare thing to see these precious resources destroyed. However, this is now happening all too often in Butembo city; leaving people afraid to go to Ebola treatment centers and their local health clinics.</p><p><strong>The consequences are severe</strong></p><p>Most patients now only arrive at treatment centers once they are already very weak and showing several symptoms of Ebola. At this phase of the disease, treatment is far less effective, and chances of survival are <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/04/worlds-second-biggest-ebola-outbreak-still-raging-heres-why-hot-zone/" rel="nofollow">drastically reduced</a>.</p><p>Some doctors and nurses have now closed their private clinics because the work has become too dangerous. They do not want to run the risk of being associated with Ebola teams because it could damage their reputation, as many people think the response is a money-making business and <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/congo-s-ebola-response-threatened-conspiracy-theories-rumors-n994156" rel="nofollow">do not trust</a> that those who work with the response really want to help.</p><p>Likewise, people are increasingly reluctant to get vaccinated or receive other help to protect them from Ebola, such as decontaminating houses, safe burials and <a href="http://news.trust.org/item/20190424203556-g95c7" rel="nofollow">food distribution</a>.</p><p><img alt="Bora, who works as a public heath promotor assistant for Oxfam, installs a chlorinated hand washing point outside a church in Mangina, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam" title="Bora, who works as a public heath promotor assistant for Oxfam, installs a chlorinated hand washing point outside a church in Mangina, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/113738lpr-oxfam-washstand-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Bora, who works as a public heath promotor assistant for Oxfam, installs a chlorinated hand washing point outside a church in Mangina, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Oxfam’s work on Ebola in DRC</strong></p><p>Oxfam has worked on this latest Ebola epidemic, the tenth in DRC, since August 2018. We have focused on public health promotion and supporting communities to design and carry-out their own action plans to break the chain of transmission.</p><p>We are also providing safe, clean water in affected communities, constructing latrines and waste disposal incinerators at health centers. In addition, Oxfam is leading on advocacy and communication efforts to make the response more inclusive and community-focused.</p><p>From our DRC experience, and from working in Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, we have learned some valuable lessons on how to fight the disease more effectively:</p><p><strong>1. Draw on local health capacity</strong></p><p>“In Butembo we have doctors… we want them to be the ones who treat us.”</p><p>Since the beginning of the outbreak, people have constantly asked health and aid workers to respect their culture and tradition, provide consistent information, deliver services on time, follow and respect vaccination lists, and to be treated by their own local doctors.</p><p>But, these requests have been often ignored, which has broken essential trust. Rather than support local health clinics and work with local health workers in a response, agencies have often created a parallel system to treat Ebola. This has only further frustrated people, and increased their reluctance to accept services that could treat many patients in their own communities.</p><p><strong>2. The response must be adapted to the local context</strong></p><p>The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is different, because it is happening in a conflict zone with a long history of violence where state security forces do not have full control. Many people in Beni, Mangina and Butembo blame the state for the lack of security.</p><p>This context of conflict has not been effectively included in designing the response, and feedback from the community has been ignored. The result has been to repeat previous mistakes.</p><p>Recently the Ministry of Health and international organizations, like Oxfam, have set up a response-wide mechanism to track and deal with people’s concerns. If the system is fully implemented it has the potential to correct the ways of working according to people’s recommendations.</p><p><strong>3. Ownership by the community is essential</strong></p><p><em>“Why are you talking about community engagement, and bringing people from other countries who do not speak our language?” </em></p><p>The vaccination and decontamination teams that go out into villages cannot effectively engage with the local communities because they often do not speak the local language. They don’t have the same capacities as local people to explain the risks of not getting vaccinated or not decontaminating their homes, or the need to get treatment early.</p><p>Community engagement means treating communities as equal partners, and recognising their capacity and experience to stop Ebola. It means respecting and involving local leaders and training local people to decontaminate, carry out safe burials and manage effective community-based surveillance to isolate cases, and refer people to clinics as early as possible.</p><p><img alt="A medical practitioner administers the Ebola vaccine to an Oxfam worker in Mangina, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam" title="A medical practitioner administers the Ebola vaccine to an Oxfam worker in Mangina, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/113723lpr-oxfam-staff-vaccination-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>A medical practitioner administers the Ebola vaccine to an Oxfam worker in Mangina, DRC. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Moving forward</strong></p><p>In recent weeks, we have observed positive movements with decontamination activities organized in collaboration with community groups, an initiative that we find very encouraging. Involving communities in developing action plans to solve challenges is as critical as medical expertise when it comes to effective prevention of Ebola.</p><p>Oxfam is working side-by-side with highly qualified health workers and technical experts from different organizations and the Ministry of Health who are working in harsh conditions and unsafe environments. Their daily efforts and invaluable support needs to be complemented with more community owned actions to end the current outbreak.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 2 May 2019, by Andrea Vera Nava, Oxfam Humanitarian Campaigns and Advocacy Manager. Andrea has worked in several countries in Latin America, Middle East and Africa. She has been working on the Ebola crisis in North Kivu and Ituri since October 2018, moving between the main epidemic hotspots.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: Medical workers administer the Ebola vaccine in Mangina, DRC. Oxfam was one of the first organizations to respond to the Ebola outbreak in North-Kivu and Ituri provinces. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Read more:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/18-06-11-oxfam-10-lessons-working-communities-fight-ebola"><strong>Oxfam's 10 lessons for working with communities to fight Ebola</strong></a></li><li><strong>Download <a href="https://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10546/620139/gd-community-engagement-wash-031116-en.pdf" rel="nofollow">Oxfam’s Guide to Community Engagement in WASH, based on lessons from Ebola</a></strong></li></ul><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>How to Build Community Trust to Fight Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo</h2></div> Thu, 02 May 2019 14:23:33 +0000 Guest Blogger 81952 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81952#comments Fighting to keep disease at bay in the Democratic Republic of the Congo http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81465 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>In Kalemie province in southeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the extreme violence between the Bantu and the Twa ethnic groups and brutal clashes between armed group have very forced more than 654,000 people to flee their homes and thousands of families are facing an increasingly critical food shortage.</p><h3>Conflict continues to drive hunger</h3><p>Women, children and the elderly are among those most affected after having seen families killed, villages burned and fields destroyed. The situation remains volatile and threatens to flare up again at any moment, preventing the displaced from going back to their villages and rebuild their lives.</p><p>Oxfam is supplying drinking water to the people in Kalunga camp. Oxfam also trained 61 women from the camp as hygiene promoters. Their daily work includes cleaning sanitation facilities (toilets and bath areas) in the camp, distributing water purification tablets to families.</p><h3>After overcoming tragedy, Therese is giving back to her new community</h3><p>Therese has been in the Kalunga camp since November 2016. When her village was attacked, she was separated from one of her children and her husband. Therese went looking for them after the attack but couldn't find them, and three months later she was told that their bodies had been found. Therese lives in the Kalunga camp with 9 of her children, ages 7-17 years old. She was trained by Oxfam to be a camp hygiene promoter, and she works daily to clean sanitation facilities in the camp, as well as distributing water purification tablets to families so they have safe water to drink.</p><p>Therese said: ‘’We fled as we were. There was no time to pack anything. You only took your children and ran.’’</p><p>‘’We walked for two days before reaching here. I had so many thoughts in my mind. I had been left with nothing. Sometimes I wish it was me who had died instead of my husband, because this burden is too much for me to bear.’’</p><p>‘’I have nine children remaining. One of them is paralyzed and so I had to carry her all the way.’’</p><p><img alt="Therese, an Oxfam Public Health Promoter cleaning latrines in Kalunga IDP camp, DRC. Photo: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam" title="Therese, an Oxfam Public Health Promoter cleaning latrines in Kalunga IDP camp, DRC. Photo: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam" height="828" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/111045lpr-cleaning-therese-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Therese, an Oxfam Public Health Promoter cleaning latrines in Kalunga camp for internally displaced people, DRC. Credit: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam</em></p><p>‘’We reached here in November last year and were received well. We received food for the first two months as well as some money to help us buy other things from the shops. But how can you bring up 9 children in these conditions?’’</p><p>‘’People have been talking of going back when the fighting ends. Others are even going there to check on their farms or what is left of their possessions.’’</p><p>‘’I have experienced war in my life but never have I been forced to leave my home and live in a (IDP) camp. I have never seen fighting like this.’’</p><p>‘’I never thought I would ever be here. My plan was to save money to build a house where my family could live comfortably and live an ordinary life. But now I can’t even think beyond today. How can I think of a good education for my children if I don’t know where their next meal will come from?’’</p><p><img alt="Women collecting water from a tap stand in Kalunga camp for internally displaced people, Kalemie, Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam" title="Women collecting water from a tap stand in Kalunga camp for internally displaced people, Kalemie, Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam" height="828" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/111032lpr-oxfam-tapstand-drc-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Women collecting water from a tap stand in Kalunga camp for internally displaced people, Kalemie, Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam</em></p><h3>Oxfam and Therese are saving lives</h3><p>Oxfam has been working in Kalemie since February 2017 and has already reached 58,302 people forced from their homes and the communities who have welcomed them. We are helping to provide clean water and sanitation facilities and working with community volunteers to educate people about the importance of good hygiene for staying healthy.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Scheherazade Bouabid, Oxfam Media and Communication Advisor, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on 3 April 2018. </em></p><p><em>Top photo: Therese, an Oxfam Public Health Promoter cleaning latrines in Kalunga IDP camp, DRC. Credit: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam<br></em></p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/countries/democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow"><strong>Read more about our work in the Democratic Republic of Congo</strong></a></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Fighting to keep disease at bay in the Democratic Republic of the Congo</h2></div> Tue, 03 Apr 2018 13:41:30 +0000 Guest Blogger 81465 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81465#comments Voces de África: la Unión Africana cumple 50 años http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-05-30-voces-de-africa-la-union-africana-cumple-50-anos <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Me he pasado tres días en la capital de África, Addis Abea, sede de la Unión Africana. Durante este tiempo, ha habido una intensa actividad al margen de la cumbre de la UA, pero he encontrado algún momento para poder explicar el trabajo de Oxfam a varia gente. Los tres días concluyeron con una actividad a la cual asistí llamada “50 lugares, 50 voces”, organizada por el equipo de<strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/campaigns/conflict" rel="nofollow"> Derechos en situación de Crisis</a></strong> de Oxfam.</p> <p>Hace un año, Oxfam se embarcó en una campaña por toda África para abordar el tema del conflicto y cómo afecta a la población más vulnerable, entre ellos las mujeres y los niños y niñas. Se seleccionaron cinco países que viven conflictos en diferentes fases y con grandes necesidades humanitarias para crear un proyecto audiovisual. Los países seleccionados fueron la República Democrática del Congo (RDC), Malí, Sudán del Sur, Sudán y Somalia. El resultado, "50 Lugares, 50 voces" es un testimonio de primera mano de gente normal que se ha visto afectada por el conflicto.</p> <h3>La cara de la resiliencia</h3> <p>En el evento, me quedé muy impresionada por los mensajes que la gente tanto de zonas rurales como urbanas envió a los líderes africanos con motivo del <strong><a href="http://summits.au.int/en/21stsummit/50th" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">50 aniversario de la Unión Africana</a></strong> y su  antecesora, la Organización para la Unión Africana (OUA).  Hablaban de la necesidad urgente de llegar a la paz, de que haya un liderazgo responsable y del potencial que tiene África de prosperar. La gente pide comida, ropa, educación, refugio, mejoras sanitarias y un ambiente de paz donde puedan construir sus vidas y prosperar. A pesar de la dureza de sus vidas, las fotos  les mostraban como personas “resilientes” frente a un entorno tan hostil.  </p> <p>Francine Chikanine, una comerciante del mercado de Goma lanzó un mensaje simple pero realmente potente: “La guerra en el Congo no termina; quiero que nuestros líderes se tomen dos minutos, solo dos minutos para encontrar las causas de fondo de esta guerra.”  Llegar a la raíz del problema que ha originado la guerra es factible, pero hacer algo para abordar estas causas fundamentales puede ser una tarea realmente compleja. La complejidad no significa que no se pueda hacer, simplemente se requiere un esfuerzo mayor. Tenemos que presionar para  que se encuentren soluciones, pero ¿por qué debería importarnos? </p> <h3>¿Por qué impulsar soluciones a los conflictos?</h3> <p>Nos debería importar porque las guerras han acabado con las vidas de millones de personas. En Somalia, por ejemplo, hay más de un milllón de personas desplazadas internas y otro millón que se ha refugiado en países vecinos. Sudán, Sudán del Sur y la RDC viven inmersos en conflictos armados de larga duración, donde cada día se denuncian casos de violencia de género. </p> <p>Nos debería importar porque cientos de miles de personas viven con miedo y no pueden alcanzar todo su potencial. Hombres, mujeres, niños y niñas han sido agredidos física y sexualmente, pero las mujeres y las niñas son los que se lleban la peor parte. Las mujeres viven con el temor constante de ataques sexuales cuando van a buscar <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/6982323879/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">agua</a></strong>, están en el <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/5329968337/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">campo</a></strong> o <strong><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8405858192/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">traen leña</a></strong>. En noviembre de 2012, soldados rebeldes y del gobierno fueron <strong><a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44854#.Uad3ztL0E2W" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">declarados culpables de violar a mujeres en la RDC</a></strong>. Ejércitos rebeldes reclutan a niños para convertirlos en soldados. Y los hombres se ven impotentes de  proteger y cuidar a sus familias.</p> <h3>El cambio es posible</h3> <p>Así que, aunque se han producido grandes avances en el continente, queda aún mucho por hacer. Una vida perdida en un conflicto es una vida de más. Estoy realmente orgullosa de que el proyecto “50 lugares, 50 voces”, y otras actividades organizadas por oficina de Oxfam de enlace con la Unión Africana, sirva para llevar las voces de la gente de los pueblos a los líderes africanos. Y mientras hablan de sus experiencias también demuestran esperanza en que el cambio es posible.</p> <p>Después de 50 años de existencia de la Unión Africana, y la emancipación política plena del continente, ha llegado el momento de que los líderes africanos acaben con la plaga de la guerra, para que la población africana pueda por fin vivir en paz, poner en pràctica sus derechos y desarrollar plenamente su potencial humano.</p> <p></p> <h3>Más información</h3> <p><strong>El trabajo humanitario de Oxfam en <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/crisis-en-mal%C3%AD" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Malí</a>,  <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">la República Democrática del Congo</a> y <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/crisis-sudan-sudandelsur" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Sudán del Sur</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Voces de África: la Unión Africana cumple 50 años</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-06-04-voix-afrique-union-africaine-cinquante-ans" title="Voix d’Afrique : l&#039;Union africaine a cinquante ans" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_en last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-05-29-voices-africa-african-union-50" title=" Voices from Africa: the African Union at 50" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> </ul> Fri, 31 May 2013 15:56:06 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10332 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-05-30-voces-de-africa-la-union-africana-cumple-50-anos#comments Voices from Africa: the African Union at 50 http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10340 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>I recently spent three days in Africa’s capital, Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union. During this time, there was a flurry of activity in the margins of the AU summit but I found my own space to talk to various people about Oxfam’s work. The three days were concluded by attending an activity called “<strong>50 Voices, 50 Places</strong>”, organized by Oxfam’s <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/conflict/" rel="nofollow">Rights in Crisis</a></strong> team.</p> <p>A year ago, Oxfam embarked on an Africa-wide campaign to address conflict and how it affects men women and children. Five focus countries – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia – all at various stages of conflict and each with huge humanitarian needs, were selected for a film and picture project. The result, <strong>50 Places, 50 Voices</strong> (embedded below) – is a first-hand testimony by ordinary people of how they have been affected by conflict.</p> <h3>The face of resilience</h3> <p>At the event, I was struck with the powerful messages people in rural villages and urban settings sent to African leaders to mark the <strong><a href="http://summits.au.int/en/21stsummit/50th" rel="nofollow">50th anniversary of the African Union</a></strong> and its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The messages were on the urgent need for peace, responsive leadership and Africa’s potential to prosper. People want food, clothing, education, shelter, good health and a peaceful environment that allows them to thrive. Despite what life had thrown at them, the pictures were those of people who were resilient in the face of hostility.</p> <p>Francine Chikanine, a market trader in Goma had a simple but powerful message: “This war in Congo doesn’t end; I want our leaders to take two minutes, just two minutes, to find the root causes of war.” Getting to the root causes of war is doable, but doing something to address the root causes can be complex. Complexity does not mean it can’t be done, it simply means that more effort is required. We need to push for solutions to be found, but why should we care?</p> <h3>Why push for solutions to conflict?</h3> <p>We should care because the lives of millions of people have been destroyed by war. In Somalia for example, there are over one million internally displaced persons with another one million living in neighboring countries. There is on-going armed conflict in Sudan, South Sudan and <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow"><strong>DRC</strong></a>, while gender based violence continues to be reported.</p> <p>We should care because; hundreds of thousands of people live in fear and cannot achieve their full potential. Men, women and children have been physically or sexually assaulted, but women and children have suffered the most. Women live in constant fear of sexual attacks when they go to <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/6982323879/" rel="nofollow"><strong>fetch water</strong></a>, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/5329968337/" rel="nofollow"><strong>tend to the fields</strong></a>, or <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxfam/8405858192/" rel="nofollow"><strong>bring firewood</strong></a>. In November, 2012, government and rebel soldiers were found <a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44854#.UaYcAlFZhOI" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>guilty of raping women in DRC</strong></a>. Children have been conscripted in rebel armies. Men have been left feeling powerless to look after their families.</p> <h3>Change is possible</h3> <p>So even with great strides made on the continent, there still remains a lot more to be done. One life lost in conflict, is one life too many. I am proud that through 50 Places, 50 Voices, and other activities of our AU Liaison Office, Oxfam is bringing the voices of people at the grassroots to African leaders. As the people speak about their experiences, they also express hope that change is possible.</p> <p>After 50 years of existence of the African Union, and full political emancipation of the continent, time is ripe for African leaders to remove the blight of conflict, so that African people can live in peace, exercise their human rights and achieve their human potential.</p> <p></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/african-union-compendium" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's African Union Compendium</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/somalia" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work in Somalia</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's humanitarian response to the conflict in the DRC</a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2> Voices from Africa: the African Union at 50</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/13-06-04-voix-afrique-union-africaine-cinquante-ans" title="Voix d’Afrique : l&#039;Union africaine a cinquante ans" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-05-30-voces-de-africa-la-union-africana-cumple-50-anos" title="Voces de África: la Unión Africana cumple 50 años" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Wed, 29 May 2013 15:20:24 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10340 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10340#comments What next for Congo after politics got in the way of peace? http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10209 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>Political disputes have delayed a peace deal that could potentially affect millions of lives. As attention on the crisis in eastern DRC wanes, the humanitarian situation remains dire. We must ensure that this golden opportunity for peace is not lost for ever. </em></p> <p><strong>I spent most of the past week in Addis Ababa at the <a href="http://summits.au.int/en/20thsummit/" rel="nofollow">African Union Summit</a>. Leaders gathered from across the continent and the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow">crisis in eastern DRC</a> was high on the agenda. It was a great opportunity to finally deal with one of Africa’s longest and bloodiest conflicts.</strong></p> <p>The current emergency affects hundreds of thousands of lives in North and South Kivu, but it is ultimately a 20-year-old regional crisis drawing in neighboring countries and affecting the whole of the Great Lakes. Any solution needs to see the AU taking the lead with the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (<strong><a href="https://icglr.org/" rel="nofollow">ICGLR</a></strong> – a body made up of 11 African states) to resolve not just the immediate crisis but long-standing issues that underpin the conflict, such as poor governance, the need to reform the Congolese army, and tensions over land and resources.</p> <p><strong>For a while in Addis it looked like this was finally going to happen.</strong></p> <h3>An agreement to protect the population</h3> <p>At the summit Oxfam and the AU <strong><a href="http://www.au.int/en/content/african-union-and-oxfam-international-hold-photo-exhibition-issues-humanitarian-access-and-p" rel="nofollow">held an exhibition</a></strong> with <strong><a href="http://issuu.com/0xfam/docs/voices-from-congo-oxfam-jan2013" rel="nofollow">photos and testimonies</a></strong> capturing the human consequences of the conflict and the resilience of people caught up in the crisis. One of our partners from North Kivu spoke powerfully to a room full of ambassadors, dignitaries and journalists about the suffering and the urgent need for peace. A speech by the Commissioner of the AU Peace and Security Council echoed this.</p> <p><strong>In conversations in the room there was a sense of cautious enthusiasm.</strong> The AU had already planned a ceremony on Monday 28 January where an agreement would be signed by the leaders of DRC, Rwanda and Uganda – and other countries involved in peace talks and peacekeeping.</p> <p>From what we know, the agreement tackled the hard issues that could really make a long-term difference. It would ensure the DRC government provides services to its population and that its security forces better protect people from violence (at the moment they are more often responsible for abuses against civilians than protecting them). A “non-interference” clause stressed how neighboring countries should play a positive role in the crisis. It also looked at enhancing the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, with 2500 further African troops to target the ever increasing number of armed groups in eastern DRC.</p> <h3>The ceremony was canceled, the deal collapsed</h3> <p>On paper it looked an enormously significant result, and on Sunday night it all looked set to be signed, sealed and delivered the following morning. Early the next day the signing ceremony was canceled and the deal collapsed.</p> <p><strong>Once again politics got in the way of peace.</strong></p> <p>It seems there were two main sticking points that stopped the agreement being signed:</p> <ul><li>The UN did not adequately consult with southern African countries about certain details;</li> <li>And two countries – South Africa and Tanzania – disagreed about how the additional troops would be managed.</li> </ul><p>Both of these should be easily sorted but have delayed or even derailed an agreement that could positively affect millions of lives.</p> <p>At the exhibition we heard the story of women like Kakuru, who fled fighting in Sake last year and whose 12 year old son was killed in an explosion. She is now sheltering with 35,000 other people in <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/video/2013/oxfams-humanitarian-response-mugunga-camp-democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow">Mugunga camp</a></strong> on the edge of Goma. For them, every day delayed is another night stuck in a camp, constantly afraid of attack and uncertain when they can go home. As politicians argue, families are uprooted by more fighting, women are raped, children recruited into militias, farmers robbed as they try to plant their crops, and men forced into labor by armed groups.</p> <h3>The momentum must not be lost</h3> <p>The leaders have now left Addis, but we must ensure that the momentum is not lost and that an agreement that was so close to being signed does not slip away.</p> <p>Of course, signing the agreement is not the end. The long road to peace in eastern Congo is littered with good agreements that were never implemented. But signing this agreement and ensuring that leaders do what they have promised would go a long way to enabling women like Kakuru to return home and start rebuilding their lives.</p> <p>If we miss this opportunity now then it is likely that the crisis in DRC will rumble on for years to come. This has to be the last peace agreement signed on the Great Lakes, and it has to be signed now.</p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://issuu.com/0xfam/docs/voices-from-congo-oxfam-jan2013" rel="nofollow">Voice of Congo</a></strong>: Testimonies of people who have fled the conflict</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow">Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo</a></strong></p> <p>How does the AU work? The<strong> <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/african-union-compendium" rel="nofollow">African Union Compendium</a></strong> explains</p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>What next for Congo after politics got in the way of peace?</h2></div> Tue, 05 Feb 2013 18:07:52 +0000 Joanna Trevor 10209 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10209#comments “I miss my husband” – DRC refugees seek safety in Uganda http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9974 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>As vast swathes of eastern DRC descend further into chaos with little government or security presence, people <strong><a href="/en/blogs/12-08-22-fatous-story-searching-safety-drc" rel="nofollow">continue to flee</a></strong> to escape killing, rape, looting and extortion committed by rebel militia. In Uganda, more than 1,000 people are arriving each week to the Rwamwanja refugee settlement, now home to more than 20,000 refugees, with a further 10,000 people waiting in the Nyakabanda transit camp on the DRC border.</em></p> <p><strong>At the Rwamwanja reception area, hundreds of people await registration and queue to receive their first ration of cornmeal, cow peas and cooking oil.</strong></p> <p>I meet Françoise*, 32, who had arrived the night before from Nyakabanda with her husband and five children. She tells me they left their village of Kiwanja in North Kivu ten days earlier because they could no longer endure living in constant fear of the gunfire. Without hesitation she unwraps her 2-year-old daughter from her back and lifts up her shirt to reveal two lumpy, darkened scars where a bullet entered the left side of her ribs a few months earlier.</p> <p><strong>The spray of bullets </strong>that Françoise ran through in April marked the beginning of the latest flare up in the long-running <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow">conflict in eastern DRC</a></strong> between rebel militia groups and government forces that has pushed people into <strong><a href="/en/blogs/12-08-27-growing-crisis-great-lakes" rel="nofollow">new depths of suffering</a></strong>.</p> <p>Françoise says rebels poured into her village firing their guns and looting:</p> <p><strong>“I began to run when I saw the rebels</strong> terrorizing people and looting shops, but as I ran across the street, a bullet went into my chest and I fell straight to the road. A stranger on a motorbike picked me up off the road and delivered me to hospital.”</p> <p>She spent three months in hospital recovering from the surgery to remove the bullet. Then, after returning home to her family, Françoise and her husband decided to abandon their home and seek refuge in Uganda.</p> <p>“I was living in constant fear of the gunfire. My heart just kept racing and I was so nervous all the time, we had to leave.</p> <h3>The challenge of a new life as a refugee</h3> <p>Françoise and a group of ten companions from Kiwanja sit in the grass sharing out scoops of cornmeal and cow peas and cups of cooking oil.</p> <p><strong>Among them is Colletta, 25.</strong> Her three young daughters refuse to leave her side. Colletta was at home with her husband and children just two weeks earlier when their house came under attack by M23 rebels. Her husband of seven years was killed instantly.</p> <p><strong>“My neighbours came running</strong> to rescue me and my daughters and we all fled and didn’t stop until we reached Bunagana, near the Ugandan border.”</p> <p>Colletta and many thousands more like her face the challenge of a new life as a refugee in a new country, with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing when they escaped.</p> <p>“All I think about is my husband, we were married for seven years, I just really miss him.”</p> <p><em>As well as hundreds of thousands of people displaced inside DRC, over 54,000 refugees have fled to Uganda and Rwanda. In the Rwamwanja refugee settlement, Oxfam is setting up water and sanitation facilities, hygiene promotion and cash-for-work opportunities.</em></p> <p><em>*Names have been changed to protect identities.</em></p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/12-03-26-drc-trying-build-security-where-fear-prevails">DRC: Trying to build security where fear prevails</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Photos: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/development/drcongo/oxfams-work-eastern-democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work in eastern DRC</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Oxfam briefing: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-lobby-briefing-drc-july2012-for-me-but-without-me.pdf" rel="nofollow">"For me, but without me, is against me": Why efforts to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working</a> </strong>(pdf 957kb, 4 July 2012)</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow">Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>“I miss my husband” – DRC refugees seek safety in Uganda</h2></div> Mon, 03 Sep 2012 14:24:00 +0000 Janna Hamilton 9974 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9974#comments The growing crisis in Africa's Great Lakes region http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9943 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>More people are displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) right now than at any time over the past three years, and tens of thousands more people have fled to neighboring countries. Oxfam’s Policy Advisor in DRC, Samuel Dixon, explains the current crisis and what the international community can do to help ease the suffering: </em></p> <h3>How serious is the crisis at the moment? </h3> <p>Nearly half a million people have been displaced by conflict since the start of the year, and there are now over 2.2 million displaced people within DRC – the highest number since 2009. </p> <p>Thousands are staying in crowded, overstretched homes with relatives or friends, while others have sought refuge in rapidly <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergenies/congo/we-do-not-dare-go-home-photos-kibati" rel="nofollow">growing camps</a></strong> as aid agencies struggle to provide food, safe water, and shelter to the swelling populations. The most affected are often those who are unable to flee – the elderly, the infirm and the handicapped. </p> <p>The humanitarian consequences are also increasingly felt in neighboring countries – nearly 60,000 refugees have fled to camps in Uganda and Rwanda. Oxfam is scaling up <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow">our emergency response</a></strong> across the region. </p> <p><a href="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=democra&amp;sll=53.800651,-4.064941&amp;sspn=10.379125,19.753418&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;t=m&amp;ll=-2.986927,23.291016&amp;spn=26.103261,26.279297&amp;z=4" rel="nofollow">View Larger Map</a> </p><h3>How are ordinary people affected? </h3> <p>Civilians are facing an increase in killings, forced recruitment (including of children), extortion, pillaging and sexual violence at the hands of numerous armed groups, as well as by the Congolese army itself. </p> <p><strong>Farmers fear being attacked if they go to their fields.</strong> Women are raped on their way to collect water. People with guns benefit financially from the insecurity – armed groups profit from forced labor in some areas and traders and farmers are forced to <a href="https://twitter.com/noahgo/status/238921773163372544" rel="nofollow"><strong>pay taxes</strong></a> at illegal checkpoints along the roads to markets, meaning that these lucrative roads are often fought over. Food prices have risen because crops are looted. People tell Oxfam they don’t grow crops to sell because they will just be stolen before they can reach the market. </p> <p>The crisis is pushing many people into hunger in one of the most fertile regions in the world. </p> <h3>Why is the situation getting worse now? </h3> <p>In April former fighters from rebel CNDP (National Congress for the Defence of the People) who had been integrated into the Congolese army (<strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo" rel="nofollow">FARDC</a></strong>) mutinied and took control of areas close to the border with Rwanda. In response, the FARDC deployed troops from across the east to fight the “M23” rebellion and protect major towns. </p> <p><strong>Tens of thousands have fled the resulting conflict</strong> between the army and the M23, while the redeployment of the army has left a massive security vacuum which has allowed rebel groups to reassert their control. </p> <p>Eastern DRC has been a story of conflict, exploitation and impunity for decades. A large number of armed groups are battling for control over territory and resources, exacerbating ethnic tensions. Military operations by the Congolese army against the FDLR militia over recent years have had <strong><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/16/un-congolese-army-offensive-displace" target="_blank" title="The Guardian - UN-backed Congolese army drive could displace 100,000 people, analysts warn" rel="nofollow">enormous humanitarian fallout</a></strong>. Within this fragile context, the M23 rebellion poses a significant and new threat to stability, government control, and communities’ protection against further abuse. </p> Ongoing insecurity and violence continue to make life precarious for civilians. <h3>What do people need most urgently? </h3> <p><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/12-08-22-fatous-story-searching-safety-drc">People need security</a></strong> and humanitarian aid. Without immediate support, people will suffer even further. Donors and aid agencies need to step up their response.</p> <p><strong>People also need better protection from the Congolese government and the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO.</strong></p> <p>Given the severity of the new conflict dynamic in the Kivus, MONUSCO needs to reassess its use of resources in order to better protect civilians where they need it the most – including areas where armed groups have reasserted control. </p> <h3>What are the long-term solutions to the crisis? </h3> <p>The current crisis is the latest in a long line of emergencies in this extremely fragile environment, and people’s ability to cope with cyclical crises has eroded. To date, responses to the chronic emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been piecemeal and achieved very little, often because they are imposed from above and do not take local opinions and solutions into account. Only by tackling the root causes of conflict, marginalization, and poverty will DRC achieve lasting peace. </p> <p><strong>The urgent reform of the FARDC is crucial</strong> so that the security forces can protect communities. Preparations should be made for free and fair provincial and local elections to address a situation in which people have little to no say over decisions affecting them. Underlying tensions over land and other resources also must be resolved between communities through grassroots peace-building, supported at the provincial and national levels. </p> Millions of people in the Eastern DRC are at the mercy of militias. <h3>What can the international community do? </h3> <p>The DRC government must lead with political and army reform, but lasting solutions require external support and recognition that this is a regional crisis. Donors should reinforce and better coordinate efforts to reform the army, and increase funding to better enable Congolese civil society to hold their government to account. </p> <p><strong>Numerous regional agreements made over the past decade remain unimplemented.</strong> More international pressure is needed to ensure that regional agreements prioritize the protection of civilians, cooperation between states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. These agreements must be made in a transparent manner and finally turned into action on the ground that will bring people real stability. </p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><strong>Oxfam briefing:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-lobby-briefing-drc-july2012-for-me-but-without-me.pdf" rel="nofollow">"For me, but without me, is against me": Why efforts to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working</a></strong> (July 2012, pdf 957kb)</p> <p><strong>Blog: </strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/12-03-26-drc-trying-build-security-where-fear-prevails">DRC: Trying to build security where fear prevails</a></p> <p><strong>Slideshow: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergenies/congo/we-do-not-dare-go-home-photos-kibati" rel="nofollow">Seeking refuge in Kibati: 'We do not dare to go home' </a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.france24.com/en/20120822-democratic-republic-congo-various-rebel-groups-war-rwanda-uganda" rel="nofollow">DR Congo: Who are the various rebel groups at war?</a> </strong>(<a href="http://www.france24.com">www.france24.com</a>)<strong></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's response to the crisis in DRC</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The growing crisis in Africa&#039;s Great Lakes region</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-08-28-afrique-crise-aggrave-region-grands-lacs" title="Afrique : la crise s’aggrave dans la région des Grands Lacs" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-08-30-la-creciente-crisis-en-la-region-de-los-grandes-lagos-africana" title="La crisis aumenta en la Región de los Grandes Lagos africana" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 16:11:29 +0000 Sam Dixon 9943 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9943#comments La crisis aumenta en la Región de los Grandes Lagos africana http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-08-30-la-creciente-crisis-en-la-region-de-los-grandes-lagos-africana <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>En estos momentos hay más personas desplazadas en la República Democrática del Congo (RDC) que en los últimos tres años, y hay decenas de miles de personas que han dejado sus hogares y puesto rumbo a los países vecinos. El responsable de incidencia política de Oxfam en la República Democrática del Congo, Samuel Dixon, nos explica la crítica situación actual y qué puede hacer la comunidad internacional para mitigar el sufrimiento de las personas afectadas. </em></p> <h3>¿Cómo de grave es la crisis en este momento? </h3> <p>Casi medio millón de personas se han visto desplazadas por causa del conflicto desde comienzos de año, y en este momento hay <strong>2,2 millones de desplazados</strong> en la República Democrática del Congo, la cifra más elevada registrada desde 2009.</p> <p>Hay miles de personas que permanecen hacinadas en hogares saturados compartidos con amigos y familiares, mientras que otras han buscado abrigo en los <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/congo/republica-democratica-congo-no-nos-atrevemos-volver-casa" rel="nofollow">campos de refugiados que brotan</a></strong> como esporas mientras las agencias de ayuda humanitaria luchan para poder ofrecerle alimentos, agua potable y cobijo a esta creciente población. </p> <p>A estos datos hay que sumar las casi 60.000 personas que han huido a los campos de refugiados de Uganda y Ruanda, motivo por el que Oxfam está ampliando su <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" rel="nofollow">respuesta de emergencia</a></strong> en toda la región.  </p> <p><a href="https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=democra&amp;sll=53.800651,-4.064941&amp;sspn=10.379125,19.753418&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;t=m&amp;ll=-2.986927,23.291016&amp;spn=26.103261,26.279297&amp;z=4" rel="nofollow">Ver en un mapa más grande</a> </p><h3>¿Cómo afecta la situación a la gente de a pie? </h3> <p>Los civiles hacen frente al aumento de los asesinatos, personas reclutadas por la fuerza (incluidos niños), la extorsión, el pillaje y la violencia sexual a manos de grupos armados, así como del propio ejército congoleño. </p> <p><strong>Los agricultores sufren ataques incluso cuando van a trabajar a sus campos</strong>; las mujeres son víctimas de violaciones cuando van a recoger agua; y quienes están armados se benefician económicamente de la situación de inseguridad: <strong>hay grupos armados que consiguen ingresos obligando a otras personas a realizar trabajos forzados</strong> en algunas zonas, mientras que comerciantes y agricultores se ven <strong><a href="https://twitter.com/noahgo/status/238921773163372544" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">forzados a pagar impuestos</a></strong> en puestos de control ilícitos instalados por las carreteras, por lo que muchas veces surgen enfrentamientos entre bandas armadas por el control de estas lucrativas vías de comunicación; los precios de los alimentos han aumentado a causa del pillaje de las cosechas; y la crisis está llevando a muchas personas a padecer de hambruna en una de las regiones más fértiles del mundo. </p> <h3>¿Por qué está empeorando actualmente la situación? </h3> <p>Un gran número de grupos armados del este de la República Democrática del Congo luchan por hacerse con <strong><a href="http://www.elespectador.com/noticias/elmundo/articulo-370117-control-los-minerales-de-sangre" target="_blank" title="Elespectador.com / El Mundo - Control a los &quot;minerales de sangre&quot;" rel="nofollow">el control territorial y de los recursos</a></strong>, lo que ha intensificado las tensiones étnicas.</p> <p><strong>En el mes de abril, los antiguos combatientes del grupo rebelde</strong> CNDP (Congreso Nacional para la Defensa del Pueblo), integrado por disidentes de las Fuerzas Armadas de la República Democrática del Congo (FARDC), se amotinaron y tomaron el control de las zonas próximas a la frontera con Ruanda. Como respuesta a esta acción, las FARDC desplegaron sus tropas por el este del país para acabar con la revuelta “M23” y proteger las principales ciudades de la zona.</p> <p><strong>Decenas de miles de personas han huido como resultado del conflicto</strong> entre el ejército y los rebeldes del M23, mientras que el nuevo despliegue de tropas del ejército ha dejado un enorme vacío de seguridad, permitiendo a los grupos rebeldes consolidar su control. </p> La creciente inseguridad y la violencia hace la vida muy difícil para las personas. <h3>¿Qué es lo que la gente necesita con mayor urgencia? </h3> <p><strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/es/blogs/12-08-23-la-historia-de-fatou-buscando-un-lugar-seguro-en-la-republica-democratica-de-congo">La gente necesita protección</a></strong> y ayuda humanitaria, y si no consiguen apoyo inmediato, su sufrimiento se verá incrementado. Tanto los países donantes como las agencias de ayuda humanitaria necesitan dar un paso al frente en su respuesta ante esta situación.</p> <p><strong>Asimismo, se necesita un mayor nivel de protección por parte del gobierno del Congo y de la misión de paz de las Naciones Unidas</strong>, MONUSCO, sobre todo en aquellas zonas en las que los grupos armados han reafirmado su control.</p> <h3>¿Cuáles son las soluciones a largo plazo para la crisis?</h3> <p>Hasta la fecha, las respuestas a la situación de emergencia crónica que vive la República Democrática del Congo han sido fragmentadas y han conseguido tímidos resultados, por lo general debido a que suelen venir dictaminadas por instancias superiores y no tienen en cuenta la opinión o posibles soluciones aportadas desde el marco local. Solo es posible conseguir una paz duradera en la República Democrática del Congo si se hace frente a las causas de base del conflicto, la marginalización y la pobreza.</p> <p><strong>Ahora se impone una urgente reforma de las FARDC</strong>, un paso crucial para que las fuerzas de seguridad del estado puedan proteger a las comunidades. Además, es necesario preparar el escenario para celebrar unas elecciones provinciales y locales que sean libres y justas. Deben resolverse las tensiones subyacentes por el control de la tierra y los recursos entre las comunidades a través de acciones de base para el establecimiento de la paz que cuenten con el respaldo de las instancias locales y nacionales.</p> Millones de personas se encuentran a merced de las milicias en la zona oriental de la R.D. del Congo. <h3>¿Qué puede hacer la comunidad internacional? </h3> <p>El Gobierno de la República Democrática del Congo debe dar ejemplo emprendiendo una reforma política y militar, aunque para conseguir soluciones que no sean efímeras es necesario contar con respaldo externo y admitir claramente que se trata de una crisis regional. Los países donantes deberían realizar mayores contribuciones y estar mejor coordinados en sus esfuerzos para conseguir la reforma del ejército y una mayor financiación que permita a la sociedad civil congoleña exigir responsabilidades a su gobierno.</p> <p><strong>Es necesaria una mayor presión internacional</strong> con la que garantizar que los acuerdos regionales anteriores priorizan aspectos como la protección de la sociedad civil, la cooperación entre Estados y la resolución pacífica de las disputas. Estos acuerdos deben suscribirse de forma transparente y llevar a acciones concretas sobre el terrero con las que conseguir un auténtico clima de estabilidad para la población. </p> <h3>Más información</h3> <p><strong>Fotos: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/emergencies/congo/republica-democratica-congo-no-nos-atrevemos-volver-casa" rel="nofollow">R.D. del Congo: “No nos atrevemos a volver a casa”</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/es/blogs/12-08-23-la-historia-de-fatou-buscando-un-lugar-seguro-en-la-republica-democratica-de-congo">La historia de Fatou: buscando un lugar seguro en la República Democrática de Congo</a></strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" rel="nofollow"></a><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/conflicto-rdc" rel="nofollow">Conflicto en la República Democrática del Congo</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>La crisis aumenta en la Región de los Grandes Lagos africana</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-08-27-growing-crisis-great-lakes" title="The growing crisis in Africa&#039;s Great Lakes region" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-08-28-afrique-crise-aggrave-region-grands-lacs" title="Afrique : la crise s’aggrave dans la région des Grands Lacs" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Sun, 26 Aug 2012 23:00:00 +0000 Sam Dixon 9948 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-08-30-la-creciente-crisis-en-la-region-de-los-grandes-lagos-africana#comments Fatou’s story: Searching for safety in the DRC http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9939 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>A <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressrelease/2012-08-07/eastern-congo-reaches-new-depths-suffering-militias-take-control" rel="nofollow">surge in violence</a> in eastern DR Congo has forced tens of thousands of people to flee. Many, like Fatou, have arrived in the Kibati camp on the edge of Goma.</strong></p> <p>In late June, Fatou, her husband and three children escaped their terrorised town of Kalengera and hid in the bush, taking with them only the clothes on their backs.</p> <p>“People were being tortured and killed, women raped and children taken. We were scared of bandits, of being executed or burnt alive in our home,” she says.</p> <p>“We thought we might be safer in the forest and at least that way we could try to stop our children being kidnapped. In the evenings we headed back to our fields to quickly harvest something to eat, then went home to cook, but just for an hour or so – we could not risk being home any longer. Then we headed back to the forest where we tried to sleep.”</p> Fatou in Kibati camp <p>Two weeks later, Fatou decided to flee the increasing violence and joined the waves of people heading towards Goma, the capital of North Kivu.</p> <p>“We were lucky – my three children, my husband and I managed to get on a truck heading out of our town. My brothers squeezed in too.”</p> <p>Fatou tells us that all of a sudden the truck was stopped by rebel groups. The few belongings they had managed to take were brutally taken from them.</p> <p>“Then, the rebels started to force all the young men out of the truck, threatening them with guns. My three young brothers were taken. We have not heard from them since. Our neighbours told us that the few who stayed in Kalengera, young children included, have been abducted and recruited for combat.”</p> <p>There are thousands of people with similar stories in Kibati camp – now sheltering up to 50,000 people who have arrived in recent weeks, fleeing the violence and numerous armed groups that control territory across eastern DRC.</p> <p>Conditions in the camp are extremely difficult. “When we arrived my youngest child fell sick with malaria. We were not able to get the help she needed. She died here,” she says with a look of disbelief in her eyes.</p> Fatou and her family's small shelter <p>In a small shelter in the middle of the camp, strung together with sticks and a sheet of tarpaulin, Fatou speaks of her fear of returning home, of reprisals and of being attacked</p> <p>“We were considering going home because we think we will starve to death here. My husband goes to try to find work and we sometimes manage to eat a little at night, but sometimes we do not. But we are scared of returning. I am afraid of being raped and my husband being snatched from us to fight for the rebels. Even here in the camp people are being attacked. We are not safe anywhere. We are frightened that we will be the next victims of the war. What if the rebels advance to Kibati? We live every day in terror. When I go to chop down wood from outside the camp I am scared of being raped. But what choice do I have? How else can we get fuel to cook?”</p> <p>I ask Fatou who should protect her. “Only God can protect us now, I do not think anyone else can – they have not so far,” she says.</p> <p><em>Oxfam teams are trucking clean water into Kibati, and constructing latrines to improve sanitation in the camp.</em></p> <p></p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/12-03-26-drc-trying-build-security-where-fear-prevails">DRC: Trying to build security where fear prevails</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Photos: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/development/drcongo/oxfams-work-eastern-democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work in eastern DRC</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Oxfam briefing: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-lobby-briefing-drc-july2012-for-me-but-without-me.pdf" rel="nofollow">"For me, but without me, is against me": Why efforts to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working</a> </strong>(pdf 957kb, 4 July 2012)</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/drc-conflict" rel="nofollow">Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Fatou’s story: Searching for safety in the DRC</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_fr first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/12-08-23-republique-democratique-du-congo-l%E2%80%99histoire-de-fatou-la-recherche-de-securite" title="République démocratique du Congo : l’histoire de Fatou, à la recherche de sécurité" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-08-23-la-historia-de-fatou-buscando-un-lugar-seguro-en-la-republica-democratica-de-congo" title="La historia de Fatou: buscando un lugar seguro en la República Democrática de Congo" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 17:02:57 +0000 Marie Cacace 9939 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9939#comments DRC: Promoting hygiene behind the (prison) walls http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9945 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>I’ve often had to document Oxfam’s hygiene promotion activities in communities, schools, markets and other public places. But never a prison. Until now.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=Bunia,+Ituri,+Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;aq=0&amp;oq=bunia&amp;sll=37.0625,-95.677068&amp;sspn=35.494074,86.396484&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear=Bunia,+Ituri,+Democratic+Republic+of+the+Congo&amp;t=p&amp;ll=-1.406109,25.048828&amp;spn=26.129953,26.279297&amp;z=4" rel="nofollow">View Larger Map</a> </p><p>In Bunia town, Ituri district, in Congo’s Orientale Province, Oxfam’s health and emergency response teams have been tackling a serious cholera outbreak. We’ve been working with a local water provider, Ngongo, to try improve water supply to sections of the town.</p> <p>In Bunia, however, only half of all neighborhoods receive any treated water and the amount per person is only about a quarter of what humanitarian agencies normally say are acceptable levels.</p> <h3>Cholera outbreak</h3> <p>According to a <strong><a href="http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=37850&amp;Cr=dr+congo&amp;Cr1" rel="nofollow">UN report</a></strong> last year, an estimated 51 million people, or three quarters of the population in Congo, have no access to safe drinking water.</p> <p>During the current cholera outbreak in Ituri district, more than 2,000 cases have been reported and 56 cholera deaths have been confirmed. Oxfam has set up two large water treatment units; treating water from the city’s Ngezi river with aluminum sulphate and then chlorinating it so that it’s safe to use.</p> <p>The water treatment means we can provide an extra 180 cubic meters of water a day, helping more than 40,000 people receive clean water.</p> <h3>A prison with no beds</h3> Bunia prison. Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam <p><strong>Recently, reports surfaced of a possible cholera outbreak in Bunia’s Central Prison prompting Oxfam to begin work there too.</strong> We began providing water and installing hand washing facilities at the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross which had been working in the prison, while other arrangements were made for the water to be trucked twice a day from our water treatment center. Oxfam staff are also carrying out hygiene promotion activities at the prison.</p> <p>It was an eye-opening visit. The prison is severely over-crowded. Built for 200 inmates, it currently houses over a thousand; mostly men, although there are also separate compounds for minors and women. Before our intervention, the prison received just 1,000 liters of piped water a day, barely a liter per person for drinking, cooking and washing.</p> Overcrowding is a big problem in the prison. Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam <p><strong>There are no beds and only a few dark, unlit and unfurnished bare-floor rooms that are crammed with people.</strong> Most inmates normally have to sleep outside in the prison courtyard because of lack of space. But heavy rain the night before my visit forced prisoners to get shelter where they could – some even slept in the toilets to stay dry.</p> <p><strong>It’s easy to see how disease could spread like wildfire here.</strong> People tightly packed together with poor sanitation facilities, including maggots in the toilets, while the number of toilets is woefully insufficient for the large number of people, and there was not enough water for drinking, washing or cooking. The scarcity of water meant most prisoners were only able to wash once a week.</p> <h3>Hygiene in an overcrowded prison</h3> <p>I watched as public health promotion team leader, Emilie Bhania, spoke to a large group of male prisoners who’d gathered for our visit. She spoke about good hygiene and the importance of hand washing. The prisoners listened attentively and asked questions. Many raised problems that they were still facing due to overcrowding and sanitation.</p> <p>Later, several told me disease was rampant. There had been cases of typhoid; and many inmates had serious respiratory illnesses and skin diseases. I was told matter-of-factly that several prisoners had died and that cholera was not the cause. Inmates said they were very happy that Oxfam was now helping and that it had made their difficult conditions a bit better.</p> <p><strong>Cholera has become endemic in eastern Congo.</strong> Last year, an estimated 22,000 cases and 600 deaths were reported. Oxfam’s work in areas like Bunia has made a difference. But it's clear that huge problems remain. People might understand and know what they need to do to prevent cholera, but unless they have access to the basics, things like clean water and soap, it's still going to be very difficult to keep cholera at bay in the future.</p> <h3>Read more</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/drc" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/development/drcongo/oxfams-work-eastern-democratic-republic-congo" rel="nofollow">Photos: Oxfam's working in eastern DRC</a></strong></p> <p><strong><strong><strong>Update: Oxfam briefing:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-lobby-briefing-drc-july2012-for-me-but-without-me.pdf" rel="nofollow">"For me, but without me, is against me": Why efforts to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo are not working</a></strong> (July 2012, pdf 957kb)</strong></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>DRC: Promoting hygiene behind the (prison) walls</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-05-25-rdc-tras-las-rejas-de-una-prision" title="RDC: Tras las rejas (de una prisión)" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Wed, 23 May 2012 16:30:42 +0000 Caroline Gluck 9945 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/9945#comments