2.8 Million People Forced From Home In 15 Months In Eastern DR Congo: UN

2.8 Million People Forced From Home In 15 Months In Eastern DR Congo: UN

KINSHASA, Jun 20 (NNN-IRIN) – About 2.8 million people have been forced from their homes since Mar, 2022, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri, the three conflict-plagued provinces in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, yesterday.

The central African country now has 6.3 million internally displaced people, the highest number in any African country, the OCHA said in a press release.

Gender-based violence is rampant with more than 31,000 cases registered in the first three months of this year alone, the UN body said, warning, the real number is likely much higher as sexual violence often goes unreported, with grave violations against children on the rise.

UN humanitarian agencies in the DRC and their international non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners, are urged to deploy additional capacity and put in more resources to increase the scale of humanitarian assistance in the region, in support of the efforts of the DRC government and working closely with local partners and organisations.

Despite the scale of the needs, funding for humanitarian response remains low, the OCHA said, noting, aid agencies require 2.25 billion U.S. dollars to help 10 million people this year.

As of yesterday, the humanitarian response plan is only 28 percent funded, it said.

“We call on donors to further support, although humanitarian assistance is not a long-term solution,” said UN humanitarian coordinator in the DRC, Bruno Lemarquis. “Alongside humanitarian assistance, we also need much more efforts and investment in early recovery and emergency development programmes, to assist communities get back on their feet. But first and foremost, we need the violence to stop.”

Hunger and malnutrition in the east are growing, due to a lethal mix of violence, natural disasters, widespread poverty and lack of basic services. In Ituri, food production has dropped 25 percent over last year alone. Outbreaks of Ebola, measles, cholera and other diseases have also contributed to the region’s humanitarian crisis.


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