GENEVA (Xinhua) --
United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said
Tuesday it was alarmed by a recent surge in violence in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that had driven large
numbers of people to flee eastwards to neighboring Burundi,
Tanzania and Uganda.
children, women and men have abandoned their homes, in the midst
of intensified military operations against Mai Mai armed groups
in South Kivu province,” said UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch at
a UN briefing.
Since last week,
almost 7,000 people have crossed to neighboring Burundi and an
additional 1,200 to Tanzania.
It is believed that
many more are displaced inside South Kivu in difficult
“Refugees we have
spoken to say they fled forced recruitment, direct violence, and
other abuses by armed groups. Others say they fled in
anticipation of military operations and out of fear,” said
spokesperson said it was imperative that people fleeing the
violence were allowed safe passage, as well as humanitarian
Refugees seeking to
reach Burundi are mainly crossing Lake Tanganyika on small
conditions at Nyanza Lac and Rumonge where they arrive are
sparse, with extremely limited shelter, drinking water, and
food, said UNHCR.
Refugees are being
transferred to already-crowded transit centers and camps in
Burundi’s north and east.
UNHCR said was
grateful to neighboring countries for hosting the DRC refugees,
and urged them to keep their borders open to those fleeing
UNICEF seeks 268 mln USD for
humanitarian aid to 6.3 mln children in DRC
Republic of the Congo (Xinhua) -- The UN agency for children
(UNICEF) on Tuesday requested 268 million U.S. dollars to
provide vital humanitarian aid to 6.3 million children in 2018
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to a
statement by the agency, the call comes in the context of
UNICEF’s 3.6 billion global appeal to provide humanitarian
assistance to 48 million children in 51 countries affected by
conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies in 2018.
height of the appeal for humanitarian support in the DRC
underscores the extent to which children in the DRC today suffer
from the consequences of conflict and epidemics,” said Tajudeen
Oyewale, the representative of the agency in the DRC.
The DRC has become
the most affected African country by population movements, with
4.3 million internally displaced, including more than 2.6
million children. These children and their families are
dependent on humanitarian assistance for their survival.
Provinces of Kasai, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika are
the most affected.
children must stop and health services and schools can function
normally again,” said Oyewale.
In the DRC, more
than two million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition,
which is 12 percent of the number of cases in the world. Added
to this are the cholera and measles outbreaks that hit a record
number of children in 2017 and whose impact is likely to expand
without an adequate response.
“In order to be able
to provide a humanitarian response to meet the needs of children
in the DRC in 2018, donors must mobilize. Last year, donors have
funded only 51 percent of funds. If the international community
does not take immediate steps to protect and provide life-saving
assistance to children in the DRC, an increasingly dark future
awaits them, “ said Oyewale.