Active Since: 2008
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), violent armed conflict and security threats in the country and the surrounding region have posed a problem for decades. The situation has resulted in over 5 million deaths, over 2 million Congolese internally displaced persons (IDPs) and over 100,000 refugees from neighboring countries seeking shelter in temporary shelters or camps around the country. Due to continued security threats, combined with a lack of basic infrastructure and services in many areas, people continue to leave their homes in search of a safer environment and more opportunities every day.
Through its protection monitoring programs in various provinces, IEDA Relief monitors and reports on protection issues for hundreds of thousands of IDPs, returnees, and refugees. Activities include conducting surveys on living conditions with regard to the protection of basic rights (e.g. health, education, property, and justice), placing psychosocial workers to respond to issues of psychosocial care, constructing care centers to provide an adequate environment for victims of sexual violence, and monitoring detention centers and administrative borders to track the flow of population movements. In addition, IEDA Relief disseminates educational programs on the fight against HIV/AIDS and sexual violence as well as providing periodic consultations for sex workers, providing HIV/AIDS testing and family planning support.
Supporting urban refugees
IEDA Relief provides socioeconomic support for refugees in urban settings, including facilitating access to medical care, assisting with funerals, and providing hygiene kits to women and girls of child-bearing age.
IEDA Relief’s programs focus on establishing and improving methods of local food production, and on equipping vulnerable individuals — including victims of sexual and gender-based violence — to support themselves through livelihoods training programs in fishing, agriculture and other businesses. To support sustainable food supplies and combat malnutrition, IEDA Relief also ensures that contributions from local markets and farmers reach parents whose children are malnourished.
In North Kivu, IEDA Relief provided returnees with adequate shelter and appropriate living and safety standards. So far, 180 individuals have been trained in construction techniques and together they have built 40 houses. IEDA Relief also facilitated in the peaceful conflict resolution of community members to reduce tensions and facilitate the transition.
IEDA Relief implemented the Albert Einstein German Academic Refugee Initiative scholarship program for 19 selected students, including organizing educational, housing and medical support for students as well as training and informational seminars for the public to raise awareness and encourage universities, local NGOs, and social networks to advocate for the integration of program graduates and other returnees into local jobs and social/professional networks.
IEDA Relief works in coordination with a number of humanitarian, government and UN partners to support refugees, Congolese IDPs, and the communities that host them, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Program (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
“The support of IEDA Relief has allowed us to dream of a possible future…” Read more about IEDA Relief’s support in the DRC here.