News / Africa

UN Humanitarian Chief Visits DRC

M23 rebel fighters in Karambi, eastern DRC in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012. M23 rebel fighters in Karambi, eastern DRC in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.
x
M23 rebel fighters in Karambi, eastern DRC in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.
M23 rebel fighters in Karambi, eastern DRC in north Kivu province, near the border with Uganda, July 12, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua
U.N. humanitarian chief Valarie Amos says many thousands of people in the eastern DRC are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Amos spent several days in the region to assess the humanitarian response to the crisis.



The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs saw first hand the effects of attacks by the M-23 rebel group in North Kivu Province.

“I visited one of the spontaneous camps that have grown up as a result of the thousands of people who have been fleeing the conflict. The conditions are extremely bad because of course what has happened is that people have just fled with very few possessions. [In] the camp I visited today there is no water, so water is having to be trucked in. These circumstances are very difficult indeed,” she said.

Speaking from Goma, Amos said drinking water is being brought in by truck, but she adds that the displaced also need food and shelter.

“People have basically been sheltering in public buildings like schools. Some have had to sleep out in the open air, including the elderly and children. It’s been raining very, very badly today so the conditions are terrible. We’ve now been able to get some plastic sheeting to some people so that they can make a little tent,” she said.

However, the distribution of aid will take four or five days to complete.

“Well, the partners are working as quickly as they can. It’s just the sheer volume of numbers that we are talking about here. So organizing to get these distributions out to those enormous numbers of people is not an easy thing to do. I’m also worried about the longer term. We need more money to support our response efforts,” she said.

Humanitarian agencies say they need about $790 million this year for operations in the DRC. They say they’ve received about $340 million so far. Amos says she hopes her visit will raise awareness about the situation.

The U.N. official met with a number of national and local Congolese officials about the crisis.

“In my view we need to scale-up our response significantly. We’re dealing with a part of the country where the infrastructure is very poor. The road network is not very good at all. So getting supplies in is difficult. Of course we’re looking at a range of ways in which we can do that, including using air transportation. But that is more expensive, as you can appreciate,” he said.

Valarie Amos says she will brief U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and possibly the Security Council about her visit.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid