DR Congo

DR Congo: IRC resumes emergency aid for displaced in North Kivu

The International Rescue Committee has today restarted its provision of emergency supplies to people displaced in the most recent round of violence in North Kivu, the Democratic Respublic of Congo's fractious eastern province.

The IRC has reduced staff levels in Goma and evacuated most of its Rutshuru-based staff while it monitors the situation and assesses the strength of the cease-fire announced late Wednesday by the National Congress for the Defense of the People, the rebel group led by General Laurent Nkunda.

During the fighting on Tuesday IRC's Rutshuru office was overrun by soldiers who stole vehicles and equipment.

IRC efforts on Wednesday to reach approximately 36,000 newly displaced people were thwarted due to active fighting on major access roads.

"We intend to resume our role as an emergency response service provider as soon as security permits access to newly displaced populations," Bob Kitchen, the IRC's emergency response team coordinator, said from the capital, Kinshasa.

"For now our focus is on those that have reached Goma, but as soon as we can deploy our Emergency Response team into the surrounding area we will conduct rapid assessments and begin immediately deploying pre-positioned essential supplies to prevent further suffering among those most affected by the conflict."

The IRC continues its programming in the other five provinces where it works - Kinshasa, Katanga, South Kivu, Orientale and Kasai Occidental.