Supporting Refugees in Rwanda

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 24, 2009
Refugee Camp in Nyabiheke, Rwanda
Welcome Sign at Nyabiheke Refugee Camp
A Women Sits Next to a Cooking Stove Used in the Nyabiheke Refugee Camp
An Improved Cooking Stove, Provided Through the Taft Fund and Used by Refugees in Nyabiheke, Rwanda

About the Authors: Todd Pierce serves as Public Affairs Advisor and Wendy Henning serves as a Program Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Over 53,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic Congo compete with native Rwandans for scarce resources, including timber for cooking fires. This competition has led to deforestation of a beautiful, green landscape and to friction between refugees and the host population. The Rwandan government has restricted wood-cutting in order to preserve the environment, but as a result refugees sometimes struggle to find enough firewood to cook with.

The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration sought to mitigate the problem by giving money to the American Refugee Committee for the improved cook stoves you see above. This adobe-like structure, built around a three rock base traditional in the region, reduces the amount of firewood needed to cook by directing the heat straight to the pot. This is not only good for the environment, but reduces time and risk collecting firewood. Other benefits are the added safety of children playing near open fires and the reduction of smoke. The stoves are appropriate technology, as materials are available locally and cheaply, and construction is simple.

The project comes from the Julia V. Taft Refugee Fund, formerly the Ambassadors’ Fund for Refugees.



United States
July 25, 2009

Vee in U.S.A writes:

The president should support the united states people first, and keep his promises he made to them. Where are the jobs he promised? Why aren't our troops out of iraq this year like promised? The money for global warming could have help provide jobs for the american people. God will take care of global warming. And goinging green.

Jean M.
United Kingdom
August 5, 2009

Jean in the United Kingdom writes:

Hello, I am British Citizen from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and I need to comment about the visit of Mrs Clinton, Secretary of States to Africa in particular in RDC. The DRC had never peace and free elections since acceding independence from Belgium because USA and Belgium decided to overthrow Lumumba who was suspected of sympathy with the Soviet system and replace him with a brutal dictator Mobutu. The latter run the country for 32 years without building any infrastruture but owing many properties in Europe, with personal fortune estimated to 5 billion with the support of wetern countries including USA during the cold war. Then under President Clinton, the USA decided to remove Mobutu and supported Rwanda and Uganda in providing arms and diplomatic support to attack Congo, as a result over 6 million of Congolese died and many living in refugy camps because the world turns a blind eye to the plight of Congolese. The UN and western countries allow the massacre of Congolese so that Rwanda and Uganda can claim wealth and annexe some parts of Congo as it was said that UN are planning to resettle Congolese refugies who fled to Rwanda as your article said to the East of Congo. This resettlement has been planned by Rwanda to place his citizens in this part of Congo so that with the support of UN, Rwanda refugies who came in Congo in 1998 to find safe haven can claim independence as US and some European countries have done with the former Yugoslavia in KOsovo.
Dear Secretary of States, DRC is victim of Western countries interference who would run the country, the current president is a Rwanda citizen and a former Tanzania resident then he joined Rwanda army to track down Hutu refugies in East Congo his name Hyppo;ite Kaname Kabange. The election was rigged but upheld with a German Army contingent not in East but capital city to crash any protest of the election unlike the Iranian one in which all countries denounce the fraud. Many Congolese women are dead, rape even girls aged 5 or 6 are raped, villages are destroyed so that Rwanda can claim sovereignity to the East part of Congo. In Yougoslavia, Milosevic, Karadzic faced the charge of war crime but in Congo not a single Rwanda national is facing the charge. Why? Because Rwanda and Uganga are ally of the USA that protect them from prosecution, Hollywood actors Ben Affleck and Lucy Lui have highlighted the plight of Congolese without decision taken against the leaders of Rwanda Paul Kagame and Uganda Museveni. These new African Hitler have killed more than the German dictator, you need to indict them now as you have done with El Bashir of Sudan regarding Darfur. There is inconsistency in relation to Darfur conflict because the media and the international Court of Justice have indicted Sudan but in Congo our people are suffering, our rain forest the second in the world has been destroyed with the support of IMF whilst the same time there is a campaign to protect Amazon.
Congolese are christian, loving people that need protection and do not want that our country becomes a failed state as Somalia there is sign that USA and Europe that brought the insecurity in DRC act now. President Obama said Africa need strong institutions not strong men. You need to put pressure to Kabila to leave power a free election and strong institution take place in Congo.

Thank You

Valflowers-Singapore F.
August 29, 2009

VSF in Singapore writes:

very good effort by the State Department... This initiative would reduce the deforestation and conservation of resources...

United States
October 1, 2009

Molly in U.S.A. writes:

This is a really great cause!


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