The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland, the Evangelical Church of Westphalia and the United Evangelical Mission (UEM) are providing 45,000 euros in emergency aid to the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda (EPR) so that it can help refugees. The EPR, a member church of the UEM with around 300,000 members, can thus directly support the people who had to leave their home in Goma and the neighbouring villages in the neighbouring country (Democratic Republic of Congo) because of the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. Most of them have sought refuge in the border town of Gisenyi.
The EPR helps, among other things, with the initial care of the refugees in emergency shelters, with food, clothing and other everyday items. The money is also urgently needed to ensure medical care, especially for children, pregnant women and people with disabilities. In addition, EPR staff provide psychological and pastoral care to traumatised people.
When the Nyiragongo volcano erupted on the evening of 22 May 2021 about 20 kilometres north of the Congolese city of Goma, it triggered a mass exodus. Fearing another eruption, the authorities ordered a partial evacuation of the city. Around 400,000 people left Goma in panic and fled to other cities in the region and towards the border with Rwanda. The authorities in Rwanda opened the border and allowed 14,000 people to cross by 27 May.
Currently, the lava flow from the Nyiragongo volcano has stopped; however, the extent of the destruction for the people in the region is great: the hot lava flows have destroyed parts of Goma: homes, shops, schools and health facilities as well as the electricity and water supply have been paralysed. Houses have been looted. Families have been separated and children have gone missing in the panic. More than 75 per cent of the agricultural land around Goma has been burnt, meaning that upcoming harvests are thus cancelled. The N2 national road from Goma to Rutshuru became impassable, cutting off access to the villages of Kayanja, Buganda and Bugiro.
Nyiragongo is located in the Virunga National Park in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Rwanda and is one of the world's most active volcanoes. It last erupted in 2002. At that time, lava flows destroyed large parts of Goma. Several hundred people died, around 120,000 were left homeless.
Donation account: United Evangelical Mission
IBAN DE 45 3506 0190 0009 0909 08
Keyword: EPR refugees
or online via the website
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IBAN: DE45 3506 0190 0009 0909 08