World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Working Around the Clock to Assist Displaced in DR Congo

UN Relief Agencies Working 'Around the Clock' to Assist Displaced in DR Congo

New York, Nov 27 2012 - Humanitarian agencies and their partners are working "around the clock" to provide basic services such as water, food and shelter to more than 140,000 people displaced by the recent violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations said today.

On Friday, the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Programme (WFP) were able to restart their activities, which were interrupted last week due to the recent upsurge in fighting between government troops and the M23 rebel group.

"Over the weekend, UNHCR and our partners were able to resume assistance to internally displaced people (IDPs) in 12 sites around Goma, including Mugunga 3 - with handouts of WFP food, as well as soap and water containers," UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters in Geneva.

"The aid deliveries began on Saturday, and the aim is to reach 110,000 people. This is the first large-scale aid delivery since Goma was captured by the M23 rebel movement on 20 November," he said.

M23 fighters - a rebel group composed of soldiers who mutinied from the DRC national army in April - occupied Goma, the capital of North Kivu, last Tuesday after launching a new wave of attacks.

The advance of the M23 has uprooted more than 140,000 civilians, Mr. Edwards said. Many have settled in the city of Goma in spontaneous sites and the Mugunga 3 camp and are living in precarious conditions.

"Many IDPs need shelter and clean water. Sanitary conditions remain a major challenge due to the lack of toilets and water supply points. Some cases of vomiting, diarrhoea and respiratory infections have already been recorded. These respiratory infections are due to the fact that these people have no shelter and are sleeping in the open under the rains."

Mr. Edwards also noted that many IDPs have started to return home, adding that UNHCR will conduct exploratory visits in the coming days to ensure safe conditions in the return areas. The agency will also assist with transportation, particularly for those who are in poor health, and pregnant women.

"Many of the displaced are telling us they intend returning soon to their home areas, and for this reason the initial aid deliveries are three-day rations only. Further assistance is being planned for areas of return," he said.

According to the spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Jens Laerke, other humanitarian organizations have also started a rapid assessment of Goma following a relative improvement of the security situation to ensure a safe return for IDPs. However, there are concerns about unexploded ordinance (UXO) that could harms civilians on their way to their villages.

WFP also warned that most IDPs will still require food assistance once they return to their homes, as many left their fields unattended.

"Food assistance is crucial as the displaced people have absolutely no means to access food. Their situation is even harder as food prices are increasing dramatically on the local market," said WFP Country Director Martin Ohlsen

Since it recommenced its activities, the agency has provided emergency food assistance to more than 81,000 people in a dozen sites in and around Goma. While activities have resumed, the volatile security situation is still limiting efforts by humanitarian agencies to rapidly assess and respond to the crisis, WFP said.

It added that it would maintain its programmes in North and South Kivu, as well as in Bunia in Orientale province, where angry protestors recently plundered WFP offices and looted stocks form the warehouse and the agency's trucks.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news