News / Africa

People in Spontaneous IDP Camps in North Kivu in Urgent Need of Aid

Refugee children, displaced by continued fighting in north Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), wait for food in the Nyakabande refugee transit camp in Kisoro town, 521 km (324 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, July 13, 201Refugee children, displaced by continued fighting in north Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), wait for food in the Nyakabande refugee transit camp in Kisoro town, 521 km (324 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, July 13, 201
x
Refugee children, displaced by continued fighting in north Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), wait for food in the Nyakabande refugee transit camp in Kisoro town, 521 km (324 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, July 13, 201
Refugee children, displaced by continued fighting in north Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), wait for food in the Nyakabande refugee transit camp in Kisoro town, 521 km (324 miles) southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, July 13, 201

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, says 60,000 Congolese civilians living at spontaneous internally displaced persons—IDP--camp sites in north Kivu province are in need of water and other basic services, as fighting between government forces and M23 militia in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo continues to cause people to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. 

The agency says spontaneous civilian-made IDP camps have been sprouting up in the area, and the largest is in and around the village of Kanyaruchinya, which is about 20 kilometers north of Goma.

The UNHCR says it and local authorities have encouraged the new residents to move to safer, organized IDP camps where there is more access to services; however the people do not want to move because those camps are further away from their homes. 

The UNHCR says generalized violence in eastern DRC has forced the displacement of about 400,000 people in spontaneous camps who are in urgent need of aid.

“People in these spontaneous settlements are really in the most difficult predicament at the moment. Many of them are without adequate food and water and shelter.  Across the Kivu’s--that’s the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo--we have seen tens and tens of thousands of people displaced over the months since April of this year--many of them living in these spontaneous settlements, “said Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the UNHCR, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Edwards said the workers on the ground are trying to access the areas of the spontaneous camp sites to help these people who are living in extremely difficult conditions.

Edwards said this particular area of the DRC has seen repeated displacements over the years.  About 60,000 people who were displaced are now refugees across the border. Those in the spontaneous settlements are in a very insecure area because these sites are not formal camps, and it is difficult for aid workers to reach people.

“So the tales we hear of hardship, of families having to live under really difficult conditions, are quite heart-rending at the moment.  It is an ongoing crisis-- one of the major emergencies we are facing anywhere in the world,” said Edwards.

Edwards said the agency has appealed for an additional 7 ½ million dollars to help the 400,000 people who are displaced in eastern DRC. 

“Money for Africa operations in general, and recognize we are also dealing with a big crisis in Mali, and another one in South Sudan this year. The funds haven’t been coming in at the rate we want, and we are appealing to donors to help us, and also members of the public to make donations through our website,” said Edwards.

Another major concern for people living in spontaneous camps is the weather.  Edwards said at this time of year nights are cold in this part of Africa, and people do not have enough shelter to keep warm. He said when you combine all of the elements that people are dealing with on a daily basis--the short supply of water, the volcanic ash that surrounds the people, and the chaos that the fighting has caused--life is difficult. To listen to the entire interview with Kim Lewis and Adrian Edwards click on audio.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid