Displaced people in eastern DR Congo lack basic non-food items: UNICEF

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Displaced families find shelter at Don Bosco Orphanage in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo,after M23 rebels claimed control of the city. [November 2012]
© Kate Holt/IRIN

Thousands of families displaced by recent fighting in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo don't have basic non-food items, according to the UN Children's' Fund (UNICEF).

The region has been the scene of fighting between government forces and rebel fighters of the M23 movement which recently took over Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.

The rebels have now withdrawn from Goma.

UNICEF and its partners have done a rapid assessment of the situation of internally displaced people in Goma and Sake.

The agency's spokesperson, Marixie Mercado says the assessment revealed what she calls "high vulnerability rates" among the displaced families.

"These vulnerability rates range from 4.1 to 4.2 out five, with five meaning that families have no jerry cans, no mosquito nets, no sleeping materials, cooking utensils or extra clothes. Despite these acute needs, plans for a massive blanket distribution of a basic non-food item kit to an estimated 30,000 families in all the camps have been put on hold due to the risk of systematic looting of the kind that was seen in Mugunga 3 on Saturday."

Duration: 29"

UNICEF says at least 12 cases of sexual assault have also been reported in one camp.

The agency says the survivors of the assault, including three girls, have been provided with treatment and care by its partner, Hope in Action.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  1’30″

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