DR of Congo: thousands receive food aid following deployment of UN troops in Bunia

12 September 2003

Thousands of people who had been cut-off from all humanitarian aid for many months because of inter-ethnic combat have been able to receive help this week following the deployment of United Nations peacekeeping troops in Bunia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today.

No one knew exactly how many persons were hiding in the forests, but some of them, encouraged by the recent political developments and an improvement in the security conditions, were returning home, a spokesperson for the agency said in Geneva.

For the first time in more than a year, a team from the WFP partner, the non-governmental organization German Agro Action, had been able on Wednesday to distribute food aid to more than 5,000 persons in Songolo, 35 kilometres south of Bunia.

The food situation of the internally displaced persons who fled the resource-rich province in the northeast was bad, as they had left with nothing, the spokesperson said.


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