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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora