Kalemie/Kinshasa, 20 March 2017: The violence that has engulfed the southeastern province of Tanganyika since July 2016 and forced over 370,000 people into displacement places it firmly among “the most urgent humanitarian hotspots in a country experiencing a worsening humanitarian situation,” the Humanitarian Coordinator in the DR Congo has stated.
The Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr Mamadou Diallo, leading a high-level delegation of UN agencies, donors and NGOs, wrapped up a three-day visit to Kalemie and Manono territories aimed at drawing much-need attention to the needs of the Tanganyika Province. These two territories, which account for almost 75 per cent of the displaced population, are the most affected by the string of violence that has ravaged the Luba and Twa communities.
In Kalemie, the delegation visited the Kalunga site, home to some 17,000 people, where NGOs are providing emergency water and health care services. However, other vital needs including shelter remain unmet. Speaking to the delegation, a displaced woman pleaded for education projects for the thousands of children living in the site, to avoid their further marginalization.
In Manono, the delegation visited the Kamala site where the delivery of assistance has been particularly difficult due to access constraints. This territory represents the cradle of the intercommunal conflict affecting the province. The delegation saw first-hand the burned, destroyed huts belonging to those who were forced to flee their community. Urgent needs will continue to grow until peaceful coexistence can be secured.
Since July 2016, the province has seen a flare-up in violence between the Luba and Twa communities, characterized by extreme levels of violence that has led to massive forced displacement, including in neighboring provinces. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that some 370,000 people have fled the cascading violence across all six territories that make up the province, in the last 9 months. The insecurity has disrupted aid operations. “The humanitarian community is called upon to address the life-threatening consequences of this lingering inter-community conflict. We are doing our utmost to respond but our effectiveness depends on unhindered access to those in need. While we continue to strengthen the humanitarian response, we look to the Congolese authorities and community leaders to urgently address the root causes of conflict and displacement,” the Humanitarian Coordinator said in Kalemie. “Unless peaceful coexistence is fully restored between the two communities, humanitarian needs will continue to spiral out of control,” he added.
An estimated USD 40 million is needed to cover all the humanitarian needs, including $20 million for the most urgent, life-threatening needs. The DR Congo Common Humanitarian Fund and the Central Emergency Response Fund have recently allocated $5 million each for the response, with the Humanitarian Fund planning an additional allocation of $2 million. “Tanganyika has become a humanitarian hotspot, but our current response capacities are being outstripped by the massive levels of critical needs. We look to our donors to help us scale up our response to match the rapidly growing needs”, Diallo concluded.
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