Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


DR Congo: Tens of thousands flee their homes in fear of volcanic eruptions

Malteser International providing support to people with disabilities
DR Congo: Tens of thousands flee their homes in fear of volcanic eruptions

Tens of thousands of people have fled from the eastern Congolese city of Goma amid warnings of an imminent volcanic eruption from Mount Nyiragongo. Last Saturday, an eruption from Nyiragongo, Africa’s most active volcano, killed 15 people and displaced 20,000 people from their homes.

Roland Hansen, Head of the Africa department at the Order of Malta’s international relief agency, Malteser International, said: “We are working with a Catholic organization on the ground to ensure that people with disabilities receive the support they need while they are being evacuated. We will provide them with food and essentials.

The situation is still uncertain, and it is unclear how it will develop in the coming hours and days. What we know is that state structures are overburdened by the situation. Therefore, we are already on standby to provide help to people with disabilities as they are already vulnerable and can hardly meet their own needs.”

Although the Goma airport is closed and aid organizations have been called to leave the city, a Malteser International relief team from Ariwara (in the country’s northern province of Ituri) is currently assessing deployment options.

Malteser International has been working in the DR Congo since 1996, to improve healthcare and ensure food and nutrition security.