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.
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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More