Some 120,000 refugees who fled ethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (RDC) two years ago to seek shelter in the neighbouring Republic of Congo, will go without food as of next month if no new funding is found, the United Nations warned today.
In the last six months the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has received only 15 per cent of the funds needed and its stocks will run out by November, WFP spokesperson Gaelle Sévenier told a news briefing in Geneva, appealing for $6 million to feed the refugees, the vast majority of them women and children, until the end of 2011.
After a joint assessment mission in October 2010 by WFP and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the agency had begun providing refugees with three-quarter rations to build their resilience as they prepared to return home. Some $33 million was needed to feed the refugees over a two-year period.
The refugees began fleeing across the Oubangi river into the Republic of Congo in October 2009 when Enyele militiamen launched deadly assaults on ethnic Munzayas over fishing and farming rights in the Dongo area of Equateur province in the DRC. Tensions then expanded to most parts of the province.