Statement: IMPACT’s Office Closure Due to Ebola Outbreak in Mambasa Territory, Ituri Province

Statement: IMPACT’s Office Closure Due to Ebola Outbreak in Mambasa Territory, Ituri Province

July 31, 2019—Ottawa, Canada

IMPACT has been closely monitoring the evolving situation in Mambasa Territory since the first cases of Ebola were confirmed.

Confirmed cases of Ebola have increased in recent weeks in Mambasa Town and 26 km away in the community of Some. While Mambasa Town and Some are both located in Mambasa Territory, Mambasa Town is in Mambasa Health Zone and Some is in Mandima Health Zone.

In Ituri Province, IMPACT’s activities are based out of a field office in Mambasa. Our local team works with partners in surrounding artisanal gold mining communities and mine sites, including in Some.

On July 18, 2019, IMPACT reduced movements to only essential local travel and suspended activities in the field. Our team in Ottawa has been working with our Mambasa-based local staff to implement IMPACT’s security protocols. Since the outbreak was first declared in August 2018, we have put in place measures recommended by the World Health Organization such as handwashing stations and supported raising awareness among partners about the importance of implementing these preventive measures.

We are concerned by the increasing number of confirmed cases of Ebola in Mambasa Territory. Additionally, IMPACT is concerned at the reported animosity and violence towards humanitarian and medical responders in Mambasa Territory, as well as towards other international organizations not associated with the Ebola response.

At this time, IMPACT is temporarily closing its office in Mambasa. We are working with our local team to ensure staff return safely to their home cities.

To ensure the safety of our team, we are suspending any further travel in Mambasa Territory on behalf of IMPACT until further notice. All visits by our international team members remain suspended to allow priority for humanitarian and medical responders trying to reach the area.

Our priority remains the health and safety of our local team members and partners.

We praise the rapid local and international response to the outbreak. We are hopeful that it will be contained soon and our work with local partners to improve security, development, and equality in Ituri Province will restart.

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Statement on IMPACT’s Response to Ebola Outbreak in Mambasa, Ituri Province from July 18, 2019

For more information:

Zuzia Danielski

Communications Director, IMPACT

zdanielski@impacttransform.org