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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Democratic Republic of the Congo - Ethiopia

27 May 2021

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The entire neighborhood of Bwene, in the north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been razed by lava flow (23 May 2021). © HEKS/EPER

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 27 May 2021

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The UN is closely monitoring humanitarian developments in Goma after last night’s decision by state authorities to evacuate 10 districts, as a precaution, following the 22 May eruption of the Nyiragongo Volcano.

Evacuations are under way, with reports of tens of thousands of people leaving Goma. The road to Sake, a town some 25 kilometres from Goma, is reportedly completely congested with people travelling by car and foot. There are also reports of people moving towards Rutshuru in North Kivu, and Bukavu in neighbouring South Kivu.

This is happening against a backdrop of already high needs in North Kivu. Forty-four per cent of all 5 million internally displaced people in the DRC are in North Kivu, and 33 per cent of the population is also severely food insecure.
 

Ethiopia

The Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Catherine Sozi, has condemned the arbitrary arrest, beatings and other forms of ill treatment by soldiers of more than 200 people during military raids of internal displacement settings in Tigray region, during the night of 24 May.

The affected Tsehaye and Adi Wonfito sites in Shire town are hosting a combined 12,000 internally displaced persons.

Dr. Sozi called for the immediate release of all those who have been arbitrarily arrested. She also said that serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law must be promptly investigated, and the perpetrators brought to justice.

The UN and partners are ready to engage with military commanders to ensure the protection of civilians.

On the broader humanitarian situation in Tigray, OCHA reports that access remains a challenge. Most of the Central Zone, the most populated in the region with about 1.8 million people, remains largely inaccessible.

Where humanitarian workers have reached people, the situation is dire, including shortages of food, dysfunctional water system, lack of electricity and lack of health services.

Food insecurity is alarming, with a high risk of mass severe acute malnutrition looming in the next few months if not addressed immediately.

Last week, nearly 18 per cent (2,000) of 11,000 children under the age of 5 were identified as moderately malnourished, and 4.5 per cent (about 500 children) were identified as severely malnourished.

Humanitarian partners are gradually scaling up response. Nearly half a million people were reached with food assistance last week, bringing the number of people reached since 27 March to more than 2.2 million people out of the targeted 5.2 million people.

The UN continues to call for safe, unimpeded and sustained access to scale up the humanitarian response to help all people in need. More funding is also urgently needed.