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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine

20 Jun 2022

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About 1,400 displaced people have found refuge a stadium in North Kivu since March 2022, having fled clashes in their villages in Jomba. Credit: OCHA/Endurance Lum Nji

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights –   20 June 2022

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Humanitarian Coordinator Bruno Lemarquis, this weekend [18 June] expressed concern about the spiralling violence in the east, which has caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians, displaced hundreds of thousands and led to the destruction of infrastructure in the past months.

Since the beginning of the year, 11 internally displaced persons’ (IDP) sites in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu have been attacked by armed groups. In Ituri Province alone, more than 200 IDPs were killed in the last nine months.

At least 15 health facilities and 58 schools have been targeted in armed attacks this year, over half of them in North Kivu Province.

IDP sites are no longer safe havens for vulnerable people  - and far too many innocent civilians are being victimized, killed, traumatized, and trapped in a cycle of violence by armed groups, Humanitarian Coordinator Bruno Lemarquis said, adding that it is more essential than ever that international humanitarian law is respected.

Many humanitarian needs have been generated by the armed conflict. But insecurity and limited funds are hampering aid operations.

At least 116 security incidents directly affecting humanitarian staff or assets have been reported since January. The DRC Humanitarian Response Plan seeks US$1.88 billion 2022 but is only 20 per cent funded. Humanitarians urgently need more funding to help affected people and support the return of those displaced when the situation allows.

Ukraine

Intense hostilities were reported over the weekend, across Government and non-Government-controlled areas of Donetska and Luhanska oblasts.

In Donetska oblast, hostilities and shelling were particularly intense since Friday, and while we could not verify the numbers, reliable reports indicate that dozens of houses and schools were destroyed in many settlements on both sides of the contact line.

As parties to the conflict intensify military operations across Donetska, they are leaving behind dozens of dead or injured civilians, including in areas that had not previously experienced fighting.

The situation is similar in Luhanska, where shelling, airstrikes and fighting are reportedly continuing to make life extremely difficult for people in Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk and other places in both Government and non-Government controlled areas. 

People caught up in the fighting are facing urgent needs with access to basic services - particularly water and healthcare -  limited, especially in Sievierodonetsk and Lysuchansk.  Airstrikes and hostilities have also been reported this past weekend in northern and southern regions too. 

Parties to the conflict have an obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. We call on them to make sure civilians in Ukraine, who have already gone through immense suffering, are not only spared but have the opportunity to receive assistance. The UN and our humanitarian partners are ready to expand our presence even further, but we need the parties to do their part.