BY GABRIELE ERBA for www.ponabana.com
Between July 2016 and February 2017, inter-communal conflicts led to the displacement of 120,000 people to the town of Kalemie in the province of Tanganyika. Meanwhile, clashes between a local militia and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) forced more than 216,000 people to flee their villages in Kasai Oriental.
Now, some families displaced from Kasai have started returning thanks to the relative calm prevailing in their home villages. However, families from Tanganyga see no possibility of an imminent return.
In response to this humanitarian crisis, UNICEF and its partners Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and AVSI carried out, at the beginning of March 2017, an evaluation mission of the situation and registration of the displaced and returned populations. The aim was to identify a response adapted to the needs of families affected by the conflicts. Hence they covered the towns of Moni, Kalunga, Kankomba and Kalemie (Tanganyika) and Kabeya-Kamwanga in Kasai Oriental.
This mission is part of the Alternative Response for Communities in Crisis (ARCC) programme.
Published by reliefweb.int
OCHA STARTS EIGHT-DAY MISSION IN TSHIKAPA
The mission aims to assess the needs of those who have been affected bythe violence that has ravaged the area in the past few months. This is the first of three missions planned in Kasai, Kasai Central and Kasai Oriental aimed at mapping out a suitable response to the needs of those displaced.
OVER 80 TONS OF FOOD DISTRIBUTED TO 46 PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ITURI
From 15 to 28 February, International NGO Samaritan’s Purse provided the food assistance to 23,000 students and school personnel as part of an emergency school canteen supported by the World Food Programme. Close to 160 tons were also provided to some 11,000 displaced people during the last two weeks of February. Those displaced had arrived from the areas of KomandaMambasa and Tchabi-Boga where nearly 90,000 IDPs are hosted since 2014 consecutively to ADF activities in North Kivu. In Irumu and Mambasa territories, clashes between armed groups and FARDC continue to negatively impact the protection environment and the work of humanitarian actors.
URGENT NEED TO TREAT MALNUTRITION IN HAUT LOMAMI
Since the beginning of 2017, there is a lack of nutritional products in several nutritional centers in Malemba-Nkulu, according to a recent mission. An average of some 520 children under 5 years old suffering from severe acute malnutrition are admitted in the ambulatory therapeutic nutrition unit of Malemba since January. Since December 2016, when international NGO ADRA ceased its activities in the area, no other actor has taken over to treat children suffering from malnutrition. In February 2017, 5 children died of malnutrition.
ESCALATION OF THE LAND CONFLICT OPPOSING TWO COMMUNITIES IN ITURI
This conflict that is taking place some 140 km north of Bunia broke out on 19 March. 550 houses and two schools have been burnt down in Lodjo and Tchulu. On 23 March, the Land Commission in Ituri noted that the estimated 5,000 habitants of Lodjo and Tchulu have fled to neighboring villages. The Governor of Ituri is due to visit the villages where IDPs are currently hosted .
WATER, SANITATION AND FOOD ASSISTANCE FOR 32,000 IDPS IN NORTH KIVU
In Mweso, humanitarian actors have installed emergency latrines, hygiene material in three public sites targeting some 15,000 IDPs. They are also conducting awareness sessions on the importance of hygiene. The displaced, who are lving with host families arrived in Mweso on 16 March from the “JTN” IDP site following clashes between FARDC and FDLR/FOCA. In Nyanzale, Caritas is due to deliver food to some 17,000 IDPs who have reached the area in successive waves since September 2016 following violence and insecurity.
CONCERNS ON THE FATE OF MINORS IN SOUTH KIVU AND MANIEMA
While there have been reports that the Congolese army recently escorted 10 children formerly enrolled in an armed group to NGO AVREO in Shabunda Territory, child protection experts remain concerned for the sake of many others who are allegedly on the front lines. AVREO is actively trying to reunite these children with their families. INGO AVSI and the Rapid Response to Movement of Population recently undertook an assessment of the protection needs of children separated from their families in Fizi (South Kivu) and Kabambare (Maniema) noting that they are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation.
THOUSANDS VACCINATED AGAINST MEASLES, SUSPECTED CHOLERA IN SOUTH KIVU
Some 25,000 children up to 15 years old, out of a total target population of 35,000, were vaccinated against measles from 15 to 21 March in the area of Shabunda. Measles and cholera have been major public health issues in the province. In Nyange, Fizi Territory, between 21 February and 2 March, over 140 cases of cholera including over 10 deaths have been signaled among IDPs who came from Tanganyika. In the neighboring Tanganyika Province, health actors are concerned about a major outbreak of measles linked to malnutrition in Kansimba, Moba Territory. At least 285 cases including 56 deaths have been registered between 13 February and 12 March. Over 80% cases were notified in Maseba health area. Health authorities are calling for support to treat the worrisome rates of measles and malnutrition. OCHA has been leading humanitarian efforts to roll out a holistic assistance to the most vulnerable displaced people.
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