UN reports dire humanitarian conditions amid conflict in DRC-Xinhua

UN reports dire humanitarian conditions amid conflict in DRC

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-24 05:45:45

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is deteriorating rapidly, a UN spokesman said on Friday.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, highlighted the grave concerns at the regular press briefing. "The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said today it is gravely concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation civilians face in the eastern part of the country."

The recent escalation of conflict around the town of Sake in North Kivu Province has displaced 144,000 people from the outskirts of Goma, Dujarric noted. "Non-state armed groups have also launched a spate of targeted attacks against civilians this week in Beni as well as in the Irumu Territory of Ituri Province."

The UNHCR's teams have documented alarming incidents of "killings, kidnappings, and the burning of homes."

To address the crisis, UNHCR is working with local authorities to expand displacement sites near Goma and plans, alongside other humanitarian organizations, to deliver 900,000 shelters in 2024. "This effort nearly doubles the 500,000 built last year," Dujarric added.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have joined the call for urgent action to safeguard children and families affected by the violence.

The surge in conflict and displacement is overstretching resources, hindering a full-scale response that encompasses essential services such as food, water, sanitation, shelter, healthcare, and protection for vulnerable groups.

Dujarric also mentioned the logistical challenges faced by aid agencies. "Crucial land routes to facilitate food delivery and other supplies have been cut off, causing shortages and price spikes in Goma's local markets."

In response to the escalating needs, WFP is seeking 300 million U.S. dollars, while UNICEF is requesting 400 million dollars for the next six months to support those in dire need.