• The deadly intercommunal conflict in the Mai-Ndombe Province in DRC has led to an influx of 8,452 DRC asylum-seekers in the Plateaux region.
• UNICEF provided life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) to 1,144 children under-five from January to June 2019.
• 23,857 children under five immunized against measles, supplemented with vitamin A and dewormed in Pool, Plateaux and Likouala regions.
• UNICEF has constructed 10 water points, 50 latrines, and showers and set up 2 water tanks (bladders), ensuring access to safe water and appropriate sanitation facilities for 10,040 people including 500 children.
• While 32 percent of UNICEF’s US$12,427,631 appeal is funded by the end of June 2019, Nutrition, WASH, Education, and Child Protection sectors are less than 30 percent funded; which is constraining the achievement of results.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
• Since the signing of the ceasefire agreements on 23 December 2017, there has been a gradual return of populations throughout the Pool region. State officials are gradually redeploying to areas they had abandoned due to insecurity. However, there is no accurate figure available. Schools and health centers that were destroyed or closed during the fighting are once again operational.
• As of 30 June 2019, 16 schools are still closed in the Pool region due to extensive damage to school infrastructure that negatively impacts learning of 3,244 children aged 3 to 17 years.
• This situation is aggravated by the collapse of the economy, touching local agricultural production and income generating activities, that need to be addressed by the rehabilitation of livelihoods. This situation is constraining access to food and increasing the risk of malnutrition for thousands of children.
• Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) remains a concern with wasting rates from 13.6 percent in Pointe-Noire to 3.7 percent in Sangha. The estimated burden of children with SAM is 73,726 in 2019.
• In the Likouala region, access to safe water and sanitation services remain limited. Only 48 percent of households have access to adequate sanitation and 64 percent to protected water sources. Also, 30 percent of people still practicing open defecation.
• A multi-sectoral assessment mission has been planned in late July 2019 to assess the needs of affected populations in the Pool region and thus an update to the number of IDPs returnees, under the leadership of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and Solidarity.
• In addition, the Likouala region is hosting over 33,000 refugees from the Central African Republic and the DRC. Due to the scarcity of resources major humanitarian needs remain to be addressed such as food, health, education and protection access services.
• Furthermore, since 16 December 2018, Congo has experienced an influx of asylum-seekers in three districts of the Plateaux region (Makotimpoko, Bouemba, and Mpouya) from the neighboring DRC following the deadly intercommunal conflict in the Mai-Ndombe Province. According to UNHCR, they are estimated at 8,452 people (62 percent of children) mainly in Makotipoko (6.526 people). A joint multisectoral evaluation (Government-UN) carried out in February 2019 in these affected districts shows that the asylum-seekers situation is worsened. According to this evaluation, the nutritional situation of children is very precarious due to difficulties in access to food, health care, and safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. A rapid nutritional screening at community level carried out among 183 children under 5 years of age of asylum-seekers in Makotipoko reports a proportion of acute malnutrition of 10.9 percent with 4.4 percent of SAM. Regarding water and sanitation, in the locality of Makotipoko, the population lacks access to safe water facilities and relies on the Congo river; also, more than 90 percent of asylum-seekers do not have access to a latrine and open defecation is practiced.
• To respond to the consequent high risk of spreading of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak from the DRC’s North Kivu province, the Ministry of Health has prompted to update the preparedness plan with a set of preventive measures in its bordering fluvial corridor with DRC.