News / Africa

UN Seeks Extra Funding for DRC Displaced

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
Nick Long
United Nations agencies are appealing for additional funding to help people uprooted by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Insecurity and the weather are proving to be major challenges for relief operations in the east of the country.  The DRC’s most troubled province.
 
Life goes on at a displaced people’s camp on the outskirts of Goma, North Kivu’s capital. Children troop to the schoolhouse singing "Let’s go to school so we can learn religion, arithmetic and French."
UN Seeks Extra Funding for DRC Displaced
UN Seeks Extra Funding for DRC Displacedi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X


At night the homeless take their place in the classroom and sleep under the desks.  Outside, thousands more people who have fled conflict sleep in huts made of sticks and grass, covered with plastic sheets that don’t always keep out the floods.
 
There’s been one general food distribution to the 55,000 people at this informal camp at Kanyarucinya, a few kilometers to the north of Goma, since it was opened several months ago.
 
Everyone, including aid workers, agrees the food was seriously sub-standard.
 
Conditions are difficult here.  One man said, "We don’t have enough to eat.  We could die of hunger here because these beans they’ve given us are rotten."
 
But 60 kilometers away up in the mountains of Masisi territory, conditions appear to be even worse for thousands of other displaced people in the towns of Rubaya and Kibabi.
 
A large crowd in Rubaya this week said that they hadn’t had any outside help since July, when they fled from another camp after it was attacked by a militia.  Many of them looked undernourished and in poor health.  
 
We live like the birds, said one man.  He said it was the people in Rubaya who gave them something to eat, a few potatoes now and then.
 
Mwanyera Baraka,12, spoke up, unprompted by anyone, when asked what they were getting to eat. He said that they ate little, sometimes once a day, when at home they could eat three times a day.
 
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says it is currently getting food aid to 265,000 displaced people in North Kivu, but there are many others it’s also trying to reach.
 
"There’s also another 129,000 identified newly displaced people in the territory of Masisi who are in spontaneous sites and host families that we’re planning operations for in the very near future," noted Laura Parker who works for WFP in North Kivu.  "So we’ve been able to reach the 265,000 targeted, but the big question is for the ones that we know exist and we know are vulnerable and we know need food aid, food assistance - the big question is how do we get our resources to them?"
 
With the start of rainy season many stretches of road in North Kivu have turned into a quagmire, particularly in Masisi and Walikale territory to the west.

"So we now have to reconsider what are our options in terms of transport, either by air or things like that, but again that can be super costly, which is already a challenge for WFP because our resources are severely limited, both financially and food," Parker added.
 
A big problem for aid agencies is that many of the displaced have not gone to official camps recognized by the government and the United Nations.  Instead, they have settled at what are called spontaneous sites or with host families. This is often because they don’t want to go too far from their land, in case other people take it over.

"It’s a big challenge to assist those people because they don’t go through official registration processes, so it’s very difficult to get accurate numbers on them, their movements can be quite pendular with some of them going back to their fields during the day, and the spontaneous sites tend to be sometimes isolated and very difficult to access in terms of road conditions and security," Parker explained.
 
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR says another reason many of the displaced have not gone to one of the 31 official camps in North Kivu is because they are not sure which camps are safe.  Several have been attacked in recent months.

"It’s important that IDPs know, as soon as possible, where they can go to find security, and that the authorities know where the security conditions can be offered," said Christophe Beau who works for UNHCR in North Kivu.

The World Food Program is appealing for an extra $46 million to fund its emergency operations in the DRC.  The money would be to cope with extra costs and to try to keep other operations going, such as its school feeding program which it has had to cut by 40 percent, and its aid to host families, which it has cut by 50 percent.
 
This week UNHCR also launched a supplementary appeal, for just under $40 million, to help forcibly displaced people in eastern Congo.

(The following statements from the World Food Program clarifies two inacurracies in the original version of the article. 

"'WFP has checked the beans after IDPs complained about them and found that they were fit for consumption although hard and took a long time to cook. Food assistance at the camp is continuing through the distribution of food vouchers, which allow people to buy the food they want from local producers."
)

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid