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Complex Emergency in the Kasai region DR Congo Situation Report No. 7 (31 May 2017)

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This report was produced by OCHA DR Congo in collaboration with partners in Kasai, Central Kasai and Eastern Kasai. It covers the period from 13 May (following the SitRep n°6) to 31 May 2017. The Kasai region here refers to the provinces of Kasai, Central Kasai, Eastern Kasai, Lomami and Sankuru.

Highlights

  • The Humanitarian Coordinator approved a "First Emergency" envelope of USD 3 million from the DRC Humanitarian Fund for a three-month assistance in the areas of protection, logistics, and the health.

  • Population movements are continuing, with 11,000 new displaced persons reported since the previous report (12 May), including 8,000 in the Kasaï Province and 3,000 in the Lomami. Verification is ongoing for many other alerts received regarding displacements.

  • Humanitarian access is gradually improving, notably in the Central Kasaï Province where chief physicians are resuming duty, road restrictions in some areas for UN agencies have been lifted facilitating, among other things, the transport of medicine and equipment into previously inaccessible areas.

  • The living conditions of the populations in the three Kasaï remain precarious: 42% of households are food insecure according to a survey from World Food Program / food security cluster.

1.3 M Internally displaced persons

140,404 Returnees

130,000 Host communities’ members/ families

352,000 Persons covered by the current emergency assistance

23,514 Congolese who have fled to Angola

8,414 Congolese expelled from Angola

Situation overview

In the Kasai region, population movement continues with 11,000 new displaced persons reported since 12 May (the date of publication of the previous report), compared with 23,000 a week before. Approximately 8,000 persons moved to the Ilebo and Kamonia territories, Kasai Province, following clashes between the Congolese army and the militia, as well as due to abuses committed by the self-defense groups. In Lomami Province, about 1,500 persons moved from Musadi (Mwene-Ditu Territory) following an incursion of militia; 1,600 others moved to Luilu Territory following clashes between the Congolese army and militiamen. Verifications are underway for many other alerts received regarding displacement.

The emergency in the Kasai region remains, above all, a serious crisis of protection of civilians: civilian populations are the first victims. Although official figures are hard to come by, dozens of deaths, burning of homes, school and medical facilities are reported every week by various local sources. On 23 May 2017, for example, 23 civilians were reportedly killed by men in military uniform within the compound of Kabeya Lumbu health center, Kasai Province.

Despite efforts by the humanitarian community, the living conditions in the three Kasai provinces remain precarious, with 42% of households in food insecurity according to a recent WFP/ Food Security Cluster survey7 . To cope with food shortages and extend existing food stocks, many families reduce their ration (68% of households) and the number of meals (72% of households). Some displaced persons are also at increased risk of epidemics, for example in the Haut Lomami Province, where a cholera outbreak was reported in Bukama Territory on 12 May.

In Angola’s Lunda Norte Province, humanitarian assistance is underway for some 23,500 Congolese who fled the region to seek refuge across the border. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and WFP are supporting the Angolan authorities in the process of registering asylum seekers (19,135 individuals have already been pre-registered). UNHCR distributed a two-week food ration to 2,500 people on 20 May 2017 and WFP is due to begin food assistance in the coming days.

Regarding the impact of the insecurity on the humanitarian situation, access is improving in the Central Kasaï Province, a situation which is reflected by the return of chief physicians, the transport of medicine and medical equipment in hard-to-reach areas, and the lifting of the suspension of the movements of United Nations agencies on some roads – a measure in force since the killing last March of the two UN staff members. Evaluations are underway regarding a possible lifting of these restrictions in the provinces of Kasaï and Eastern Kasaï. It should be stressed, however, that the still fragile security situation in certain areas could lead to further displacement, particularly in the Mbuji-Mayi area and the Luilu Territory.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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