FILE - A Congolese child eats a meal at a UNHCR reception center in the Kyangwali refugee settlement camp, Uganda March 19, 2018.
FILE - A Congolese child eats a meal at a UNHCR reception center in the Kyangwali refugee settlement camp, Uganda March 19, 2018.

The United Nations humanitarian chief and the U.N. agency for child welfare, UNICEF, are calling on the new government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to commit humanitarian aid to people in war-torn areas where some 13 million people are still struggling for access to food, housing and education after years of violent conflict.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and Undersecretary for Humanitarian Relief Mark Lowcock returned from a trip to the DRC this week calling for "urgent and sustained funding"  to help some 4 million malnourished children, as well as vulnerable communities like the disabled.

U. N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Aff
FILE - U. N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA) Mark Lowcock.

The U.N. representatives met with President Felix Tshisekedi and had what they called "constructive discussions" with him on humanitarian aid.

"In conflict-affected areas of the country," Fore said, "children and young people have been recruited as fighters, sexually assaulted and denied education, health, and protection services."

The representatives also met with health minister Oly Ilunga to discuss the recent Ebola virus outbreak in Beni and Butembo. The United Nations says over 1,000 children have been separated from their parents or orphaned due to Ebola, and in this outbreak, children account for one-third of all Ebola cases.

FILE - Health workers are seen inside the "red zone" of an Ebola treatment center, which was attacked in the early hours of March 9, 2019 in Butembo.
Congo Ebola Outbreak Spreads to City of 1 Million
Health authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo have confirmed a case of Ebola in another city of close to 1 million people, the health ministry said Wednesday.Bunia is the second-largest city in eastern Congo to confirm a case of the hemorrhagic fever during the current outbreak, which was declared last August and is believed to have killed 610 people and infected 370 more to date.The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that the outbreak was concentrated in two areas and…

Lowcock, the humanitarian relief authority, said the key to defeating Ebola is community involvement.

"Only if local people are fully involved and consulted can the outbreak be defeated," he said. "That means engaging them actively in the response, as well as doing better to meet their wider needs."

Fore, the director of UNICEF, called on the new government of DRC and the international community to "do better for children."