DRC: Over Three Million Lives of Displaced Children at Risk, Says UNICEF

KINSHASA, FEBRUARY 23, 2021 (CISA) –The United Nations Children’s Funds in a February 19, press release report has warned about the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where lives of displaced children are at risk.

“The lives and futures of more than 3 million displaced children are at risk in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) while the world is looking the other way,” said the report released by the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.

According to the report, a succession of brutal attacks by fighters using machetes and heavy weapons have forced communities in the east of the country to flee with only a handful of possessions. Most families including children have been hacked to death. Health centers and schools have been ransacked, and whole villages set ablaze.

“Displaced children know nothing but fear, poverty, and violence. Generation after generation can think only of survival… Yet the world seems increasingly indifferent to their fate. We need the resources to continue helping these children have a better future,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative for the DRC.

Displaced families have been forced to live in crowded settlements that lack safe water, health care and other basic services while others are accommodated by impoverished local communities. More than 8 million people are acutely food insecure in some provinces such as Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika which are violent and afflicted.

The UNICEF report calls for an end to the conflict which has fueled one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. United Nations (UN) figures show that there are currently 5.2 million displaced people in the DRC where fifty per cent have been displaced in the last twelve months.

“Without sustained humanitarian intervention, thousands of children will die from malnutrition or disease, and displaced populations will not receive the basic lifesaving services they depend on,” said Edouard Beigbeder urging people not to cut back on assistance for DRC.

“Instead, the world should be seizing the opportunity to help steer the country and its people towards stability, while supporting their efforts to build safer and better lives for themselves and their children,” he added.