UNHCR seeks aid as humanitarian crisis in DRC worsens

 Children are undernourished due to the lack of resources in host communities. Children are undernourished due to the lack of resources in host communities. BY-NC-ND/ICRC/ Birom Seck

11 March, 2020

Increasing displacement leads to lack of resources in hosting communities

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is experiencing one of the longest standing humanitarian crises in Africa. In 2019, the Regional Refugee Response Plan asked for $720 million USD to aid the crisis in the DRC. The plan was only 22% funded. Worsening security and increased violence against civilians in the region have increased displacement. In response to the increasing severity of the state UNHCR, the UN Reform Agency, and its partners are seeking $261 million USD to provide support to DRC refugees as well as its neighboring nations that have acted as host communities. 

The communities that refugees are seeking shelter in are overpopulated and under resourced. Currently, Uganda is housing a majority of DRC refugees with nearly 400,000 people. Rwanda and Tanzania have more than 75,000 each, Burundi houses over 84,000, Zambia has 50,000 followed by Angola with 23,000 and the Republic of Congo with 21,000. With populations skyrocketing food, shelter, water, and health necessities are becoming sparse. Many refugee settlements and camps are at full capacity.

The increasing tension in the DRC started in December when the government launched a military operation against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Civilians, especially those who are displaced, are targeted by the armed groups. According to local authorities, over 252 civilians have been killed since December 2019. Locals reported to UNHCR staff that they “now live in fear, after witnessing killings, sexual violence, and abductions at home and during flight.”

The money requested by UNHCR would help provide security, shelter, food, water, and other necessary resources to the nearly one million people displaced as a result of this ongoing conflict.


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Author: Teagan Foti; Editor: Noelle Musolino

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