Bishops in Ireland Offer Financial Support to Victims of DR Congo’s Volcanic Eruption

Trocaire supports hygiene and sanitation projects in Mabukulu Village in Eastern DR Congo./ Credit: Garry Walsh/Trocaire

Catholic Bishops in Ireland have, through their overseas development agency, Trócaire, facilitated the procurement and distribution of food to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) refugees seeking shelter in Rwanda after the eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo

Some 8,000 Congolese are said to have fled to neighboring Rwanda following the May 22 volcanic eruption. Another thirty people were reported dead and at least 500 houses flattened by the lava flow.

In a Tuesday, June 22 report, Trócaire officials say the financial and technical aid has been offered to their local partner, Caritas Nyundo. 

“Trócaire has been able to provide financial and technical support to Caritas Nyundo, for the distribution of food to vulnerable Congolese families,” officials of the agency say in the report authored by Nóirín Byrne.

They add that a sum of 20,000 Euros was availed to the development arm of the Rwandan Diocese of Nyundo "straight away for this support to happen." 


Trócaire officials are also “taking part in the Government led Post Disaster Needs Assessment, while representing the Network of International NGOs (NINGO) in Rwanda, with a view to coordinating recovery efforts by the aid agencies operating in Rwanda,” they say in the statement. 

The leadership of the organization is also aiding Rwanda's Ministry of Emergency Management in its emergency and recovery support to the affected populations.

Earlier this month, DRC's Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lunkonde, said the government "decided on the progressive return of displaced people." 

The Premier said that the decision was reached after seismic activity in the mountain improved. 

Mr. Lunkonde also said that some of the places in Goma were destroyed by the eruption and could no longer be inhabited. 

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On June 4, Catholic Bishops in the Central Africa nation appealed for support to reach out to the thousands of people displaced from the city of Goma.

Members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) invited all people of good will “to mobilize spiritually and materially to help our brothers and sisters in need.”

“Let brotherly love remain. Do not forget hospitality, because thanks to it, some people, without knowing it, have welcomed angels,” the Catholic Bishops in DRC said in their collective message.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.