What happened to refugee money in Goma DRCongo? Who can help in this please?

What happened to refugee money in Goma?

UNHCR Goma has put in place some interventions to support refugees in Goma, North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of Congo, these refugees are called urban refugees. But why only urban refugees what has UNHCR planned to refugees in the other 6 other territories and the other two towns which host refugees? In North Kivu UNHCR is more visible on issues of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), at the expense of refugees, this is something else. Yet Noth Kivu is considered as the Capital City of refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For donors who have contributed money to support refugees, this is what has happened in Goma.

In 2020 UNHCR donated COVI19 cash to some refugees in Goma. First of all it was not enough to hold a refugee status in order to expect the money, and only those who are registered as residents of the two divisions of Goma and Karisimbi were eligible for the COVID19 cash assistance. Just imagine the situation of a refugee who is in Karisimbi Division gets the money but his next house is a refugee now in Nyiragongo does not get.

The amount of money depended on the size of the family which was called (household) were each member of the family was supposed to be allocated a certain amount. Two things happened, some refugees who were supposed to receive the money did not get since last year up to now, they are still waiting, others got a portion of the money. For example a household of 5 people gets money for only 3 people.

Recently in September UNHCR Goma again distributed money to refugees in Goma and Karisimbi for the education of their children. The same challenges were observed and up to now many are still waiting.

We engaged UNHCR Goma, but every time we were given a different explanation, then none among the actors could accept to take up the responsibility, refugee victims were told about Kinshasa and now, UNHCR decided to keep quiet. But the question remains? What happened to the money?

In June 19th, 2021 UNHCR Kinshasa announced that it will support refugees who were victims of the Nyiragongo Volcano eruption, up to now many direct and indirect victims have not yet seen that assistance. So what happened to the money?

Can someone help us to ask UNHCR about these funds? Where is respect and dignity towards refugees? Can refugees be fully protected and not abused?

Author: Kuliloshi Pecos