GRI Emergency Feeding Program in Congo
Ten days ago, Global Refuge conducted an extensive assessment in areas where thousands are displaced in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These people have run through the jungle fleeing rebels who are killing their neighbors and families. They are living under trees or in vacant buildings if they are lucky. Among the most extreme needs, our team found widespread starvation throughout the entire population. Some children are realistically within a few weeks of death, others are headed in that direction and mothers are not producing breast milk which is leading to severe malnutrition among children under 1 year of age.
As an example of how serious this need is, we identified 8 children to be in our first severely malnourished feeding group that began yesterday.
We were broken-hearted to hear of the death of one of those kids; a 2 year old boy who passed away two nights ago. He is pictured above on the right.
Global Refuge has a mission that requires us to move quickly, efficiently and with powerful interventions when we find this kind of suffering. Many large organizations have seen these needs and chosen not to intervene. We have chosen to intervene swiftly and in big ways.
Just 10 days after seeing these enormous needs, the Global Refuge Emergency Feeding Center has opened in the DRC. The center is providing emergency feeding to 7 severely malnourished children, 35 on the verge of severe malnutrition and their 42 mothers. Using specific blends of milks and formulas, we will take months to slowly introduce nutrition into these children and mothers and bring them back to a weight that will allow them to survive. We also have doctors treating their pressing medical needs while they are receiving feeding.
This work is expensive, and we are doing it outside of the protectIon of the UN Peacekeeping areas. Our staff are taking big risks to reach these people and sacrificing greatly.
The parents of these children have no other options. There is not a more clear and definitive way for you to help intervene than to spare these parents from having to helplessly watch their children starve to death. We will send out more information on these children and their mothers in the next day or two including opportunities to sponsor each child/mother's feeding program for the next 3 months. We are monitoring these areas and will continually be adding children and their mothers to the center as needed. I encourage you to take this as an opportunity to join our staff in sacrificing on their behalf. They need your help! There is no reason for it to be too late for another one of these children.