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

 

Cyclone Pam Drives Up Contraceptive Demand In Vanuatu

UNFPA Pacific, Port Vila, Vanuatu (March 31, 2015) - Katherine Silas grimaces but one is not entirely sure if it is in response to pain or merely the sight of the needle being used to implant the long-term contraceptive, jadelle, a week after Cyclone ... More>>

Palestine: Border Police Extremely Close When They Shot The US Activist

New testimony at final hearing in Tristan Anderson's trial indicates Border Police were extremely close when they shot the US activist in the head More>>

Palestine: Ni’lin Demonstrators Met With Violence

International Solidarity Movement On the 20th of March, during Ni’lin’s weekly Friday demonstration, Israeli occupation forces attacked protestors with about 20 rounds of tear gas canisters shot with the ‘venom’ tear gas launcher mounted on a military jeep ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Envoy Says Yemen On 'Rapid Downward Spiral'

Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned today as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition. More>>


Continued International Support As Vanuatu Recovers

Damage seen on Saturday 14 March 2015 in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam moved through the Archipelago. Photo: UNICEF Pacific More>>

UNICEF Rushes Emergency Supplies For Cyclone-Affected Tuvalu

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is dispatching emergency life-saving supplies to communities in Tuvalu as part of its efforts to assist communities in the Pacific region that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam, with nutrition and hygiene kits arriving today. More>>

Guinea Reports Highest Weekly Ebola Case Total This Year

Guinea reports highest weekly Ebola case total so far this year, new UN data shows More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news