Democratic Republic of Congo facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in 2018
13 million people in need of aid – warns Concern Worldwide
Written by Rebekah Connolly
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Concern Worldwide is an international non-governmental humanitarian organisation which is dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world's poorest countries. Concern Ireland, which is part of Concern Worldwide, is the largest Irish humanitarian aid agency.
Humanitarian Crisis in DRC
Concern has highlighted the worsening conditions in DRC, where:
- 13 million people need aid
- Including 4.3 made homeless due to conflict
- 7.7 million suffering from acute hunger
Figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) also reveal that there are two million children in DRC at risk of severe acute malnutrition – a fatal condition if they are untreated.
“The suffering is on a massive scale and is worsening by the day,” said Concern’s Regional Director for Central Africa, Reka Sztopa. “We are calling for unimpeded access to provide lifesaving assistance, as well as increased levels of funding.”
Level 3 Emergency
The UN upgraded DRC's status to a Level 3 Emergency. This means that it joins Yemen and Syria in being regarded as "the worst-of-the-worst of humanitarian crises". Hundreds of thousands of people are set to starve if vital intervetion does not come soon.
Displacement in North Kivu, a province in the east of DRC, is related to conflict between armed groups fighting for control of land and resources.
A report, published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre last month, highlighted that 5,500 people fled their homes in the DRC every day in 2017 due to conflict.
A lack of access to clean water and sanitation has also sparked a deadly outbreak of cholera. Over 1,200 lives have already been claimed by the disease in what has been described as the “worst outbreak in more than 20 years”.
Support Concern Worldwide
Concern is fighting the spread of the disease through an emergency programme in Tanganyika and Haut Katanga provinces in southeast DRC, which is supporting more than 61,000 people with access to safe water, sanitation and essential items to improve hygiene.
For further information and to help support the work of Concern Worldwide click here.