© UNICEF/DRCA2010-00013/JILL CONNELLY
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2012:
UNICEF has been quick to support the humanitarian needs of children and women at risk of ongoing violence and displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after fighting broke out in the regions close to the city of Goma last week.
Fighting between rebel group The 23 March Movement (M23) and Congolese Army (FARDC) has displaced thousands in the country’s North Kivu province.
As of November 2012, more than 2.4 million people had been displaced as a result of fighting between the Congolese army and rebel groups. UNICEF estimates that more than 60 per cent of those affected are children and women.
UNICEF representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Barbara Bentein, said UNICEF was “on the ground and reaching out to children affected by the crisis”.
Food, clean water and adequate sanitation are urgently required by communities who have fled the fighting.
“Within 24 hours after fighting erupted, we distributed high-energy biscuits to children, and we will continue to respond to their urgent needs, as the situation evolves,” Ms Bentein said.
UNICEF and its partners are:
• Distributing nutritional supplements.
• Treating water to eliminate the threat of water-borne diseases, such as cholera.
• Trucking clean water into areas where displaced people have settled.
• Building toilets where displaced people have settled.
• Supplying teaching resources to help children displaced by violence and conflict return to classes.
• Educating families about risks posed by unexploded munitions and explosives from the fighting.
• Working to prevent the recruitment and re-enrolment of children into armed forces and groups.
UNICEF requires more than $157million to support children and women affected by the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For more information, please contact:
Kate Moore, UNICEF Australia
0407 150 771
Tim O’Connor, UNICEF Australia
0435 206 273
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