Agency rushes aid to volcano victims

 CAFOD has launched an emergency relief programme today to help hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the volcanic eruptions in the Congolese town of Goma. Huge numbers of people have flooded over the border into the town of Gisenyi where they have no shelter and nowhere to rest. Fr Oswald Musoni, director of Caritas Goma, said: "Most of Goma is completely destroyed and the people are milling about in Gisenyi not knowing what to do. The volcano is still erupting and we are very worried about the lava flow reaching Gisenyi. It is very frightening. "We are trying to help as many people as we can to find somewhere to go but it is very difficult. We are reliving the refugee crisis of recent years when hundreds of thousands of refugees were on the road." CAFOD has been working with Caritas Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo for seven years helping refugees return home and rebuild their lives. The head of CAFOD's Africa section, Maurice McPartlan said: " Our partners in Goma and Rwanda went straight into action as soon as it became clear that the volcano was active. This morning they appealed for sheeting. blankets, tents, food and cooking utensils and are now carrying out a more detailed assessment of what needs to be done. It is very difficult as the situation in Gisenyi is chaotic."

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