DR Congo’s Humanitarian Crisis Growing Severe

Congo refugees
Congolese civilians bare the brunt of the violence

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday said the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was critical, with over 2.4 million internally-displaced people and persistent insecurity and poverty.

South Kivu is home to the largest internally-displaced population with over 800,000 displaced people, while North Kivu had the highest number of new displacements, according to OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke.

Insecurity in recent weeks caused by a breakaway group of soldiers from the national army was regarded as a main factor for this huge number of displacement, he said.

UN agencies and NGOs have been supporting thousands of people with water, food, health care, protection, emergency education and other relief services across the country, notably in the east.

However, funding remains a major challenge for relief work, Laerke said. A humanitarian action plan for DRC made an appeal for 791 million U.S. dollars and was slightly less than half funded.