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Democratic Republic of the Congo: ICRC reunites 28 children with their families and provides assistance for 3,100 household

21-07-2004 News Release 04/87

On 14 July the ICRC carried out two operations to help victims of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in close cooperation with that country’s National Red Cross Society.

A total of 28 unaccompanied children were flown from Goma to Kinshasa on board an ICRC plane to be reunited with their families. The group was made up of 21 boys and seven girls. The youngest child was less than a year old and his mother, who was only 16, was herself an unaccompanied child. The ICRC brought all the children to the places where their families were living.

Most of the children had been separated from their loved ones when fighting first broke out in the east of the country in 1996. The ICRC registered them, traced their families and helped restore family links by means of Red Cross messages. Such operations – invariably the fruit of lengthy investigations – are carried out in all provinces of the country.

The same day, the ICRC also distributed supplies to 3,100 families in Bukavu (South Kivu) who had been affected by the events of May 2004.

The purpose of this assistance was to meet the most urgent needs of people whose homes had been looted as a result of the fighting that took place in the city. Each family received three blankets, kitchen utensils, clothing and soap.

During the fighting in Bukavu, the ICRC and the National Society had continued to provide assistance for the wounded in the city’s hospitals.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Dominique Liengme, ICRC Goma, tel. : +250 0830 0461  

 Anna Schaaf, ICRC Goma, tel. : +250 0830 0461  

 Marco Jiménez Rodríguez, ICRC Geneva, tel. : +41 22 730 22 71