The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today warned that it does not have the resources to provide assistance to a growing number of people displaced by fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Initial assessments showed that around 80,000 people uprooted by clashes between the national army and rebels are in need of assistance in the Irumu region of Ituri in Province Orientale, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva.
However, that number could increase to 120,000 to 150,000 people as fighting was still ongoing and assessments in some areas had been impossible due to security reasons, she added.
Given the displacement trends, WFP needs $4.2 million to cover needs for at least three months for 80,000 people. Ms. Byrs said the agency is currently diverting food stocks from other planned activities to help meet needs.
She noted that some areas are currently relatively stable and accessible, with identified concentrations of displaced households. Access is limited though in areas where fighting is ongoing, and displaced households are moving from location to location on a daily basis.
WFP started its assistance on 13 September, and has thus far assisted around 62,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host families. Beneficiary registrations are ongoing in Komanda and Soke. WFP intends to assist an additional 45,000 people between 10 and 13 October.
Fighting over the past year in eastern DRC has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which already includes 2.6 million IDPs and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.