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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid