People have lost everything. Please donate today.

Overnight on Saturday 22 May, the volcano Mt Nyiragongo erupted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The resulting lava flow destroyed entire villages and vital infrastructure. At least 32 people died.

The lava flow stopped short of the city of Goma – home to around two million people – but the impact has been devastating.

On 26 May, with fears of a second eruption, the government ordered the evacuation of parts of the city of Goma. 230,000 people have been displaced – some fleeing towards other towns, while others have sought refuge over the border in Rwanda. 

With frequent earthquakes, it’s unsafe for people to return to Goma – and now suspected cholera cases have been identified in Sake, the town where most people have fled to.

For the people of Goma, this eruption is an emergency within an emergency. There are already over two million people displaced from violence in North Kivu region.

UNHCR is on the ground, providing immediate assistance to people who have lost everything, including emergency shelter kits, clean water, chlorine to prevent cholera and other waterborne disease, latrines, hot meals, blankets and other relief items.

Please send your support and donate today.


Your donations in action

Emergency tents like this provide shelter for displaced families

Shelter Shelter

Emergency relief items include sleeping mats, mosquito nets and solar lamps

Supplies Supplies

Shelter helps protect vulnerable displaced people

Shelter Shelter

UNHCR uses airlifts to rapidly deploy supplies

Supplies Supplies

Get the facts about our impact

Shelter Shelter Shelter
Supplies Supplies Supplies
Medical Medical Medical
Food Food Food

Providing Shelter

UNHCR provides refugees with emergency shelter — tents, tarpaulins and demountable housing — in the immediate aftermath of displacement. More broadly, we are responsible for site planning and camp management to ensure refugee settlements are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. For those living outside camps, UNHCR funds the rehabilitation of communal shelters, the construction of new homes and rental assistance for those in urban situations. UNHCR also provides materials that displaced people need to build a home themselves under self-help schemes.

Providing Supplies

UNHCR distributes life-sustaining items such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, stoves and fuel, soap and other sanitary items to refugees under its care. These supplies are tailored to the specific needs of the refugee population: for example, winterisation kits are distributed in camps and communities where sub-zero temperatures occur. UNHCR maintains global stockpiles of core relief items for immediate delivery in emergency situations.


Providing Food 

Malnutrition is a common consequence of conflict and displacement. UNHCR works with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that all refugees have access to adequate nutrient-rich food. UNHCR assists with the distribution of food rations in camps and provide urban refugees with vouchers and cash assistance for the purchase of food and groceries. In acute situations, UNHCR supports emergency nutrition and therapeutic feeding programs, supplying fortified milks and ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

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