News / Africa

UNICEF: Congolese Kids Face Psychological Trauma

M23 rebel group soldiers patrol in Rangira, near Rutshuru, DRC, October 17, 2012.
M23 rebel group soldiers patrol in Rangira, near Rutshuru, DRC, October 17, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
The U.N. children’s agency says heavy fighting around Goma in the eastern DRC has forced thousands of already displaced people to flee once again. UNICEF said it’s particularly concerned about the psychological trauma that Congolese children may face.


The fighting between the Congolese army and M23 rebels has made an already unstable area even more unsafe for civilians.

“Our primary concern is the condition of women and children in and around Goma who are affected by the fighting; and of course, of the security and safety of our own personnel on the ground,” said Nona Zicherman, head of emergencies for UNICEF in the Democratic Republic of Congo and based in Kinshasa.

She said many thousands of people already have fled a site for the displaced several kilometers from Goma.

“Well, we know that there was significant population movement into Goma. UNICEF was present in Kanyaruchinya camp outside of Goma, which was home to around 60,000 people. And while we don’t have exact numbers, we know that a significant proportion of the residents of Kanyaruchinya and the surrounding villages have come into Goma, and have come into various sites and are living with host families in various neighborhoods inside Goma,” she said.

UNICEF is already providing assistance to hundreds of women and children seeking shelter at Goma’s Don Bosco Catholic Center.

“UNICEF’s message is always the same – that all parties to the conflict respect the rights of civilians; respect the right of humanitarian actors to access affected populations. That’s our biggest concern for the moment,” she said.

Zicherman added that UNICEF has emergency plans in place.

“UNICEF has a significant presence in Goma with significant emergency stock. So as soon as the emergency situation permits UNICEF staff and partners to move around the town and do assessments, we will be responding with essential household items, with shelter materials, with nutrition intervention, with health intervention, with water and sanitation interventions. We’re quite concerned about the possibility of cholera,” she said.

Cholera has been a problem before both in Goma and the Kanyaruchinya camp.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid