DR Congo: UNICEF rushes aid to 10,000 people displaced by fresh fighting

22 December 2005

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has provided emergency relief items to over 10,000 newly displaced people in three camps, north of Katanga province.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has provided emergency relief items to over 10,000 newly displaced people in three camps, north of Katanga province.

“This immediate emergency response has helped ensure that the vulnerable populations are able to cope with the present crisis with dignity,” UNICEF said of the supplies, including plastic sheeting, blankets, soap and cooking utensils, which have been distributed to the displaced families by the non-governmental organization (NGO) MSF-Holland.

Tens of thousands of people fled their homes earlier this month in fear of fresh militia attacks in the Katanga region, where the Congolese army, backed by the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), is trying to oust militias that have tortured, raped and killed civilians across the eastern part of the vast country ever since a five-year civil war ended in 2002.

More than 10,000 displaced people are presently living in three camps managed by MSF-Holland in the district of Pweto. MSF reports indicate that about 300 to 400 newly displaced persons arrive in the camps every day, the majority of them women and children.

UNICEF’s medium-term emergency aid will cover additional essential supplies for primary health care and nutrition and assistance to local organizations working to reintegrate children released from armed groups into their communities, as well as providing educational supplies and materials for the displaced.

The UN World Food programme (WFP), working with Caritas, a local NGO, is urgently mobilizing food aid and said earlier this month that it needs $20 million in additional funding.

 

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