UNHCR / DRC HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

24-Nov-2023 00:03:57
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) express grave concern over the humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo as violent clashes between non-state armed groups and government uproots over 450,000 people from their homes. UNHCR
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STORY: UNHCR / DRC HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
TRT: 03:57
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: SWAHILI / NATS
DATELINE: 25 APRIL 2023, GOMA, SOUTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
SHOTLIST
1. Med shot, Jean Baptiste, Displaced Congolese, collecting firewood
2. Med shot, Jean Baptiste walking carrying wood
3. Med shot, Jean Baptiste lighting fire and clearing field
4. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“It was in March. We gunshots at night and fled.”
5. Med shot, portrait of Jean Baptiste with his wife and child
6. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“When we arrived in Kanarucinya, some people had found refuge in churches, others in schools. Some people spent the night out on the road, where we stayed.”
7. Med shot, man holding cane entering makeshift shelter
8. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“We had a lot of problems and life was difficult in Kanyarucinya.”
9. Wide shot, general view of a site/ cars and motorcycles driving by.
10. Med shot, view of makeshift shelter/ men walking
11. Med shot, displaced children at site
12. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“We have suffered a lot. Hunger, desease, death, women are raped, and the list goes on.”
13. Wide shot, Displaced families arriving at Bushagara site
14. Wide shot, UNHCR partner staff registering displaced people
15. Med shot, view of a makeshift shelter
16. Wide shot, Bushagara site with newly built emergency shelters
17. Med shot, Jean Baptiste outside his new shelter
18. Wide shot, housing structures at Bushagara IDP site
19. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“When I arrived here in Bushagara, I got this shelter, and today I can sleep in dignity with my wife and children. But in Kanyarucinya, we lived in a makeshift shelter. My children had nowhere to sleep. My wife and I were really suffering.”
20. Med shot, Makeshift shelter
21. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“But UNHCR helped us with the construction of these shelters, and they brought us blankets. Before, we used to cover ourselves in rags. They also gave us mats. We used to sleep on the ground.”
22. Wide shot, Bushagara Internally Displaced Site IDP site with improved shelters
23. Wide shot, Displaced families getting off truck
24. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
25. “The problems we still have include the fact that many have not had access to shelters and kits like us.While we are here, we can ask for help with food.”
26. Wide shot, views Kanyarucinya site/ traders
27. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
28. “But we don’t want this life of begging. At home, we had fields, cattle, and we lived very well.”
29. Med shot, Jean Baptiste chopping wood
30. SOUNDBITE (Swahili) Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza, Displaced Congolese:
“The most important thing is to stop the war so that we can return home.”
31. Med shot, Jean Baptiste walking carrying hoe and machete
32. Wide shot, Jean Baptiste coming outside his shelter
STORYLINE
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) express grave concern over the humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Violent clashes between non-state armed groups and government forces have forcibly displaced more than 450,000 people in the last six weeks in Rutshuru and Masisi territories in North Kivu Province.

The severity of the crisis is further exacerbated by the limited humanitarian access to those in dire need, primarily due to the obstruction of major routes. Cut off from essential humanitarian aid, approximately 200,000 internally displaced people are currently stranded. Tragically, an additional 100,000 people are anticipated to confront restricted access in the coming days if the current trends of conflict persist. In Bushagara in the Nyiragongo territory in North Kivu, over 15,000 people have benefited from emergency shelters at a site built by UNHCR and other partners.

Jean Baptiste Munyanzinza and his family live in one of the sites after they fled attacks at their home. The site provides emergency shelters, latrines, drinking water supplies, psycho-social support services. The disruption of roads not only impedes the delivery of critical humanitarian aid but also heightens the vulnerability of displaced populations, leaving them without essential resources and protection.

Although UNHCR has built shelters in recent months for more than 40,000 people near the provincial capital of Goma, and distributed kits containing tarps, cooking pots, and blankets, the international community must urgently address the obstruction of humanitarian access to ensure that the nearly 7 million people affected by conflict in eastern DRC receive urgent help.

The gravity of the situation is underscored by the distressing narrative of displaced people in Sake, who are arriving by the tens of thousands in this town, 35 kilometres west of Goma. Having first been displaced in zones where aid was not accessible, they described to UNHCR’s protection monitors making harrowing choices, including men risking death to feed starving children and women risking rape to collect firewood.

Protection monitoring reports collected by UNHCR and partners in October show over 3,000 reported human rights violations in October, nearly double the figure from the previous month. Rape and arbitrary killings feature prominently in these results, along with kidnappings, extortion, and the destruction of property.

The number of overall violations reported against children between July and September 2023, recorded by child protection partners, saw a sharp increase (130 percent) to 2018 cases on top of the already high number of violations reported for the first half of the year. The humanitarian response in the DRC is significantly underfunded. For 2023, the coordinated Humanitarian Response Plan, which includes both UNHCR and UNICEF financial needs, is set at USD 2.3 billion, but as of today, it is only 37 percent funded.
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