DRC: US$718 million needed for emergency aid in 2012
The UN is appealing for US$718 million to help hundreds of thousands of Congolese facing conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and limited access to basic social services in the vast Central African country.
The funding will allow humanitarian organizations to provide basic aid such as food, water and shelter, as well as programmes to protect civilians, improve living conditions and restore livelihoods.
“Hundreds of thousands of Congolese turn today to the international community not only for food, potable water, health care, protection and education, but also to help them rebuild their lives with dignity,” said Fidèle Sarassoro, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
DRC faces multiple crises including attacks by armed groups, massive displacement and disease. Last year, measles and cholera epidemics claimed the lives of more than 2,400 people, mostly children.
In 2011, 1.7 million people remained displaced, mostly in eastern DRC, due to attacks by armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and Mai Mai. In the eastern provinces of North and South Kivus, aid agencies face major challenges because of conflict and insecurity. In 2011, there were 116 attacks against aid workers.
Despite these challenges, 7 million people benefited from health-care services, including cholera treatment, in 2011. More than 3 million people received food assistance, including 1.1 million children through school-feeding programmes. More than 2 million people received safe drinking water.