Mamy Liata, with crutch, and her family are among the war-displaced people in Eastern Congo who are receiving humanitarian assistance from The United Methodist Church. Photo courtesy of UMCOR Disaster Management Office, East Congo.
By Chadrack Tambwe Londe
Jan. 8, 2020 | LUBUTU, Congo (UM News)
Humanitarian assistance from The United Methodist Church has reached more than 5,500 war-displaced people in Eastern Congo.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief provided a $100,000 grant to support more than 700 families who fled to the territory of Lubutu, a United Methodist district of the Oriental and Equator Conference. The disaster management office in Eastern Congo distributed more than 200,000 pounds of food to 5,760 people.
Coordinator of UMCOR’s disaster management office in Eastern Congo, Jean Tshomba, said each household of eight people received 110 pounds of rice, 110 pounds of maize flour, 10 liters of vegetable oil, 33 pounds of beans and 5 pounds of cooking salt.
Conflict between the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and militia in the localities of Lowa and Kuwait and surrounding villages forced more than 18,000 people to flee toward Lubutu in the Maniema province between February and June of 2019.
Tshomba said many fled after their villages were burned.
“They fled the war and abandoned everything. (Now) they live in Lubutu with host families,” he said.
Mamy Liata, a widow and mother of five children, was among those who received relief supplies. Her husband was killed in the war and she was shot in her left leg, which had to be amputated. She was forced to flee with her family and abandon everything.
“I say thank you very much for the food we just had. I was living in great difficulty with my children. … It is now difficult for me to look for food for myself and my children. We live thanks to the help of people who are volunteers,” Liata said.
“I’ve been in a lot of pain since my husband died. I live by the grace of God. Please do not stop at this level. Please help us next time. Please do not forget us in your prayers, too,” she said.
Samuel Mayele Papy, who leads an association formed by those who have been displaced in Lubutu, said the food from The United Methodist Church will help him to take care of his family while waiting for the harvest of a field he has cultivated.
“In the meantime, I will be able to eat without much difficulty, as has been the case since we arrived here in Lubutu. We say a big thank you to The United Methodist Church for thinking (of us) during this very difficult time,” he said.