The Salvation Army in Rwanda is responding to the growing number of refugees fleeing across the border to escape ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A transit centre at Nkamira – initially built for 2,000 people then extended to 5,000 – now houses in excess of 9,000. Because of this, a new camp has been set up in Mugombwa, and people are already being moved there from the transit centre.
Most refugees have fled with only what they deemed to be necessary items. Many have respiratory problems and almost 90 percent of the transit camp’s residents are women or children.
The Salvation Army has been approached by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) with a request to provide refugees arriving at the new Mugombwa site with mattresses and kikoyis (a cloth used both as clothing and a blanket). The Salvation Army is also part of a government steering committee created by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs (MIDMAR), which is responding to the crisis.
The Salvation Army hopes to provide mattresses and kikoyos to the first group of 1,500 refugees arriving in the new camp within the next few days.