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Cordaid NL
Cordaid Democratic Republic of the Congo

Deepening Crisis Looms as Residents Flee Volcano Eruption in Goma

Thousands of people fled the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on Saturday 22 May. Cordaid has temporarily evacuated its staff members and family members to Bukavu to ensure their safety.

Cordaid remains at the ready to respond to any changes in the situation in Goma and has put in place a response team to monitor developments.

While the eruption of the 22nd is over, the danger of another eruption remains, and seismic activity continues. The city of Goma is mired in uncertainty, with recurring power failures and limited access to food, water and cash.

“The situation is Goma is worrisome. People in the city are still concerned. We decided to do what we could to immediately bring our colleagues and their families to safety. But there are many people in Goma that don’t have the means to leave. After this latest crisis, the resilience of the people is really being tested once again,” said Sylvain Duhau, DRC Country Director for Cordaid.

Massive displacement

Thousands of residents of the city and the wider area have been displaced, fleeing towards Rwanda, Sake and Bukavu. These displaced groups seek water, shelter, food and other basic necessities. The region is home to many thousands of internally displaced people as a result of insecurity and armed group activity, and also hosts refugees from Burundi, Central African Republic and elsewhere, who are already enormously vulnerable to food insecurity and violence.

Restart as soon as possible

Cordaid works together with local partners in Goma and the surrounding areas to implement programmes around healthcare, security and access to justice, education and more. Due to the evacuation of staff, Cordaid’s office in Goma is closed temporarily, and activities in the area are by consequence affected. Cordaid remains committed to the DRC and will work to restart its efforts in and around Goma as soon as the area is deemed safe for our colleagues to return.