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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs