Easing tensions in DR Congo pave way for aid delivery to displaced population

2 October 2007

Due to a recent lull in fighting between Government and rebel forces in the troubled North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), United Nations humanitarian officials reported that aid workers have been able to provide assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The “window of opportunity” offered by the current calm allows the humanitarian community to continue to assess vulnerable populations and provide the necessary assistance, stated the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) and its non-governmental partner Caritas have completed food distribution for 17,000 people – who had already received non-food and shelter items – in Bweremana, Bitonga and Bishonge, south of Sake.

The UN mission in the country, known as MONUC, is working to organize permanent patrols to protect IDPs in various sites west of the provincial capital Goma.

Congolese armed forces, or FARDC, have agreed to OCHA’s request to start sensitization activities to address the need to respect displaced families.

Also, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will shortly implement a new registration programme – intended to improve accuracy in the figures the UN keeps on beneficiaries of its humanitarian work in the region – for all IDPs residing in sites west of Goma.

Since the end of last year, some 300,000 people have fled their homes in North Kivu because of fighting between Government forces, renegade troops and other armed groups.

 

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