In the past six weeks, 450,000 people have been displaced due to conflicts in eastern DR Congo.
In the past six weeks, there have been intense conflicts between non-state armed groups and government forces, leading to the displacement of over 450,000 individuals in Rutshuru and Masisi territories of North Kivu province.
Upon arriving in Sake, a town near the provincial capital of Goma, individuals shared their difficult decisions, with men risking their lives to provide food for hungry children and women risking sexual assault while gathering firewood.
‘Concerning pattern of abuse’
According to UNHCR, their observation in the area has revealed more than 3,000 documented instances of human rights abuses in October, which is almost twice as many as the previous month.
“The agency stated that the results showed a disturbing trend of violence against civilians, including rape, arbitrary killings, kidnappings, extortion, and property destruction.”
The escalation of aggression is causing great harm to children, as reported by protection organizations who have noted a significant rise in overall instances of mistreatment against them.
Major roads obstructed
The UN organizations stated that the severity of the emergency is worsened by the restricted access of humanitarian aid to those in desperate need. This is primarily due to major routes being blocked, resulting in approximately 200,000 displaced individuals being unable to receive aid.
The disturbance also heightens the susceptibility of uprooted communities, rendering them without necessary necessities and safety.
Despite UNHCR constructing shelters for over 40,000 individuals and providing 30,000 kits with essential items such as tarps, cooking pots, and blankets, it is necessary for their partners to take further action in order to provide urgent assistance to the approximately seven million people affected by the conflict.
Humanitarian funding shortfall
The UN and organizations focused on helping people in need are quickly increasing their efforts to address urgent necessities caused by excessive amounts of people and insufficient housing in unplanned areas, where there is limited availability of food and safe drinking water.
From June 2023 onwards, UNICEF has provided life-saving aid to almost 700,000 individuals through essential services such as access to clean water and sanitation, child protection, non-food items, healthcare, nutrition, and education.
In collaboration with UNHCR, the organization urgently requested for a halt to the violent actions and emphasized their dedication to easing the distress of those impacted by the crisis.
Nonetheless, it was emphasized that prompt and generous action from the global community is necessary, as only 37% of the $2.3 billion humanitarian response plan for the DRC has been funded thus far this year.