(United Nations, 10 January 2003): Populations
were on the move in the Republic of Congo's Pool region in November and
December of 2002 due to bombing, fighting, banditry and attacks on villages.
In mid-December, attacks on villages near Inga and and Nganga-Lingolo caused
people to flee their homes to seek shelter with host families in the capital,
Brazzaville. This was in addition to displacement caused by aerial bombing
in Yangui by the military in mid-November. The UN estimates that at least
84,000 people have fled the fighting between the Ninja rebels and Government
troops, which began at the end of March 2002. Many others have not
been identified as internally displaced persons because they have not been
registered or are staying with relatives. The exact number of people displaced
within the Pool region remains unknown because humanitarian aid workers
have been denied access to this region while military operations were underway.
Their best estimate is 60,000.
In November, the UN country team warned that, as the destruction of crucial social services and a lack of food supplies compound the difficulties of displaced persons, the humanitarian situation in Republic of Congo could become dire. However, agencies do not have enough relief supplies to assist the growing number of people in need and lack the resources to assist newly displaced persons as fighting continues in the Pool region. WFP has only enough food to assist people for the next 4 months while UNICEF and WHO expect that their emergency stocks will last only 1 to 2 and 2.5 months, respectively. Funding shortfalls have been a persistent problem for UN agencies in the Republic of Congo, as the UN Plan 2002 received just 35% of the funding required for humanitarian agencies to meet the needs of tens of thousands people in 2002.
UN agencies in the Republic of Congo are urgently seeking funding for their plan for 2003-2004 to bring life-sustaining aid to internally displaced persons.
For further information, please contact: Brian Grogan (212) 963-1143
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.