DRC: 280,000 people affected by conflict in Ituri
27-03-2019 | di COOPI

DRC: 280,000 people affected by conflict in Ituri

Hostilities between the Lendu and Hema ethnic groups in the Ituri region, north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, resumed at the end of 2017, thus causing the displacement of some 280,000 people, who are exposed to violence, food insecurity, poor hygiene, cholera and typhoid fever epidemics.

Since July 2018, thanks to Humanitarian Fund, we have launched the Emergency multisectoral response in nutrition, health and protection to populations affected by the humanitarian crisis in Djugu territory, Ituri province" project.

Protection will be one of our key activities – our aim is to contribute to the security and respect of girls and women, men and boys human rights, who are subjected to gender-based violence or discriminations.

Therapeutic and psychological sessions, recreational activities and literacy courses are some of the initiatives planned. All these activities share the same and crucial aspect: a participatory approach. This method will end social and cultural stigmatization, by giving people suffering from discriminations useful resources and advice to emancipate on both a personal and professional standpoint.

In this respect, preparatory training courses, aiming for example to produce traditional handicrafts or teach best practices in the textile, agricultural or livestock sectors, will be carried out within structures, specifically designed to ensure the privacy and security of all participants.

These premises will either be rebuilt or renovated as shelters, where members from both the Lendu and Hema communities can safely gather, discuss and support each other. These refuges not only address people suffering from gender-based violence, but they will also community reconciliation.

To promote a society free from gender-based violence and other forms of discriminations or abuses, we are organising awareness campaigns, movie showing and commercials, to involve not only family members but also teaching and medical staff.

Since 2000 COOPI has been operating in Ituri and continues to carry out several projects, both in emergency and development contexts, by tackling food safety, health and protection sectors.