‘Massive and protracted’ humanitarian crisis in DR Congo can be ‘beaten back’ if donors step up

UNOCHA UN humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to see firsthand the extent of the ongoing humanitarian crisis. March 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


“Urgent and sustained funding” for a Government-led response to what is now a “massive and protracted” humanitarian crisis across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is required, said the head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN relief chief on Thursday.

Following on from a fact-finding mission to DRC this week, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and the UN’s top Humanitarian Affairs official (OCHA), Mark Lowcock, said the funds were urgently needed to meet the needs of children, families and vulnerable communities, including people with disabilities.

“The relatively peaceful political transition taking place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an opportunity that we must seize on,” the top officials said in a statement, referring to the first peaceful transfer of power following elections on 30 December.

“We can beat back the massive and protracted humanitarian crisis. But we urgently need donors to provide further generous funding as needs continue to outpace resources,” said Mr. Lowcock, adding that the DRC needs sustained international engagement to create the conditions for peace, security and long-term development.

While the country has made progress in recent years in some areas, including a drop in the number of children dying before they reach the age of five, the overall humanitarian situation remains alarming. Around 13 million went hungry last year, compared with 7.7 million in 2017. At least 4 million children are malnourished, while cholera, measles and Ebola “continue to blight many lives”.

“Severe acute malnutrition is expected to hit 1.4 million children under the age of five this year and put them at imminent risk of death,” said Ms. Fore. “In conflict-affected areas of the country, children and young people have been recruited as fighters, sexually assaulted and denied education, health and protection services. Together, the international community and the new government can – and should – do better for children.”

Constructive talks

In Kinshasa, the two officials held constructive talks with newly-elected President Félix Tshisekedi who reiterated the Government’s commitment to leading the humanitarian response across the country.

In Goma, in the eastern province of North Kivu, they visited a centre delivering care and assistance to women, including survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. They also met rape survivors who were receiving medical, psychosocial and legal assistance, with support from UNICEF and partners.

In Bunia, Ituri province, the pair visited a site for those internally-displaced, where they met mother-of-four, Janette Dusi Lasi, who was wounded and lost her husband when their village was attacked.

‘Work with local people’ to beat Ebola

Ms. Fore also traveled to Beni and Butembo where she visited Ebola treatment facilities, as the outbreak continues, with concerns that the fight against the disease is stalled, due to recent attacks on medical facilities. She then went to day care centres where Ebola survivors, now immune to the virus, look after small children whose mothers are undergoing treatment and who themselves are at risk of developing the disease.

Children account for one third of all Ebola cases – more than in any previous outbreak. Over 1,000 children have been separated from their parents or have been orphaned due to Ebola.

The two officials agreed that successful elimination of the current Ebola outbreak required above all greater and more effective community engagement.  “Only if local people are fully involved and consulted can the outbreak be defeated,” said Mr. Lowcock. “That means engaging them actively in the response, as well as doing better to meet their wider needs, on the basis of priorities local people themselves express. Insecurity and the activities of armed groups are a real problem – but what is needed above all is to listen to and work with local people.”

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

Google and Apple suddenly realise that doing business in EU is tough?

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

New malaria vaccine trial in Malawi marks ‘an innovation milestone’, declares UN health agency

Monday’s Daily Brief: numbers of hungry people rising, millions of children need vaccines, Mali children need more protection

COVID-19 sparked an economic crisis ‘like no other’ – but these measures can help now: WHO, IMF

Dignified health for all who live here

Health conditions for citizens of Yemen’s key port city ‘remain critical’ says UN agency

New report says better metrics could have prompted stronger response to the crisis

How data can help mining companies tackle their trust deficit

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

What has changed in the French politico-economic horizon

Quality of air in Bucharest-Romania: is it fog or is it smog?

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

Making the most of our ‘extra time’ – for ourselves and society

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

The future of crypto-assets, from opportunities to policy implications

#Travelgoals: why Instagram is key to understanding millennial tourism

Trump fines China with $50 billion a year plus some more…

5 things to know about the exploding world of pro gaming

Why CFOs need to rethink what it means to create value

Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

Medical students, climate change and health: an unorthodox combination

New labour laws in Qatar benefiting migrant workers a ‘momentous step forward’: ILO

Russia’s permafrost is melting and it could have a devastating global effect

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo conflict zone ‘remains dangerous and unpredictable’ – UN chiefs

Why capital markets have no more reservetions about Eurozone

We can build a carbon-neutral world by 2050. Here’s how

Stepped-up efforts needed to combat pneumonia; save nearly nine million children’s lives

Thai citizenship means ‘dream of a brighter future’ for cave rescue boys, says UN Refugee Agency

EU Trust Fund Bêkou for the Central African Republic extended until 2020

New UN Global Climate report ‘another strong wake-up call’ over global warming: Guterres

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

Climate finance for developing countries reached USD 71 billion in 2017

Abandoned mines could become the farms of the future

The reverberation of permanent multiprofessional education in combating antimicrobial resistance: future generation prognostic change

Glaringly false reassurances about the repercussions of the EU-US free trade agreement

Eurozone: Uncertain future with unemployment ravaging the South

Brexit ‘no-deal’ preparedness: Final Commission call to all EU citizens and businesses to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal on 31 October 2019

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

How do we build a #sustainableworld?

How Europe beat the financial crisis – and the risks it still faces

Abuse of authority provisions adopted by the Senate raise concerns over Brazil’s capacity to ensure independence of prosecutors and judges in fighting corruption

rescEU: EU establishes initial firefighting fleet for next forest fire season

UN Chief ‘strongly rejects’ Guatemala decision to expel anti-corruption body

Help African farmers cope with climate change threats, UN food agency urges

The world wide web is 30 years old. What better time to fight for its future?

Stop illegal trade in cats and dogs, says European Parliament

COVID-19: Stopping the rise in domestic violence during lockdown

Successful carbon removal depends on these 3 conditions

These chefs are fighting hunger and poverty with gastronomy

These researchers want to use your computer in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine

These will be the main cybersecurity trends in 2020

Colombia’s former president says COVID-19 shows the importance of listening to indigenous peoples on how we treat the planet

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

Chart of the Day: These are the world’s most innovative economies

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

EU approves disbursement of €500 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s