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Start Fund grants £200,000 for crisis response in DRC

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On Friday a committee of humanitarian experts in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, decided how to allocate £200,000 from the Start Fund for response to the recent fighting in North Kivu. Together Tearfund, CAFOD and Christian Aid will implement the tenth Start Fund response.

The alert was raised on Tuesday by CAFOD after a spate of attacks on civilians were carried out by ADF/NALU militia in North Kivu province between the 5th and 17th October. Their alert note described how "within 3 weeks, more than 80 people have been killed, and hundreds injured in Beni region as a result of ADF assaults. These indiscriminate and extremely violent attacks have created great population movements in the area. Most IDPs [Internally Displaced People] left suddenly in the night without taking essential household items, and leaving behind food stores."

It went on to say: "Timing is crucial as it looks likely that some vulnerable IDPs will start suffering from malnutrition, while basic NFI [Non-Food Items] and shelter materials are urgently needed in this current period of heavy rains... The process of lobbying and applying for funds may take several weeks. It is therefore important that funds are made available at this early stage, so that immediate needs are addressed, and further funding can be leveraged for follow-on interventions to mitigate this growing crisis."

The allocation committee agreed unanimously to activate the Fund for the maximum amount of £200,000. Colleagues from Tearfund, CAFOD, War Child, ActionAid and World Vision met on Friday in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, to discuss the five proposals submitted.

Drawing on information available from needs assessments, OCHA data, in-country knowledge, and the briefing notes from ACAPS and Development Initiatives, the committee established a priority list of needs with NFI and Food coming out top, followed by WASH, Protection and Health in that order. The proposals were examined as a group to identify which sectors they addressed, and then which proposed activities provided the greatest coverage in terms of sector needs and also geographic reach.

For this reason, the committee selected the proposals from CAFOD, Tearfund and Christian Aid, which together will provide Food, NFIs, WASH and Protection activities to reach more than 308,536 people across Oicha City and the surrounding localities in Beni territory. The three projects began on Friday and will run for 45 days.

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