DR Congo

DR Congo: Weekly Humanitarian Update (03 - 07 July 2017)



On 05 July, the European Commission for Humanitarian Affairs (ECHO) pledged USD 5 million to the humanitarian response to the Kasai crisis. This fresh money came as an ECHO delegation and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) - two of the main funding partners for humanitarian action in the DRC – were assessing the situation in Kasai and Central Kasai provinces. With every week that goes by more and more organizations are looking at ways to scale up their presence and activities. In Kasai Province, in partnership with UNICEF, the NGO Action Against Hunger (ACF) is assisting- medicine, therapeutic food, and hyginene kits- some 1,740 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, building latrines and water sources. The National Catholic Child Bureau (BNCE) supervises unaccompanied children and has set up a playground for more than 400 registered children. In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), three local NGOs are supervising farming activities of 25,000 people on a 50-hectare site. These activities are all the more crucial as nearly 1,200 hectares of fields have been ravaged by flames of unknown origin in the Kasai Province. This incident could affect the availability of food in the Kasai region whose population already missed two cropping seasons due to insecurity. In addition, a widespread increase in food prices in Mbuji-Mayi, in the Kasai Oriental Province, has been observed for several weeks, according to the FAO. This too could exacerbate food insecurity and malnutrition.


With half of its 26 provinces affected by armed violence, ethnic conflict, diseases and natural disasters, all this within a volatile regional context and amid historically low levels of funding, the first six months of 2017 have proven that the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains an unrelenting humanitarian crisis that is having a suffocating impact on millions of people. The DRC is currently home to 3.8 million people who have been forced to flee violence inside the country, making it Africa’s most affected country by internal displacement. An appeal for USD 748 million that was launched earlier this year has so far received less than 25 per cent of funding, ranking it at the lowest funding level of the past 10 years. In late April, an emergency appeal for $64.5 million was launched for the Kasai crisis. To date it has only received 11 per cent.“The DRC crisis is a succession of acute shocks that have eroded the dignity of millions of people, and the first six months of the year were no different. The Kasai crisis is today the most visible tip, but across the country the lives of millions of people have been made miserable by senseless violence, lack of access to basic social service and poverty. We can redeploy our staff, fly in new expertise, distribute food and medicine in all corners, but without money, we won’t be able to respond to the level that we need to”, OCHA said in a press release on Friday


From 1 January to 25 June, 1,826 cases of cholera have been reported in South Kivu compared to 2,263 cases during the same period in 2016. This 20-percent decrease is a payoff of the prevention programs collaboratively put in place by provincial authorities and humanitarian actors in the region. Cholera is endemic in the eastern province where every year thousands of cases are reported. Since 03 July, massive population displacement is reported in Fizi Territory (southern part of the province). They fled to seek refuge in several locations of South Kivu and in neighboring Maniema and Tanganyika provinces. This population movement is triggered by the violent clashes that erupted between Mai-Mai/Yakutumba and FARDC on 29 June 2017. As of the 06th July a slow return movement has been observed and some medical staff returned to the health facilities.


On 2 July 2017, the Congolese Heath Minister, Dr Oly Ilunga, declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in DRC. The announcement comes 42 days after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas Uele Province tested negative for the disease for the second time. Four people died of the virus. A total of 583 contacts were registered and closely monitored, but no known contacts developed signs or symptoms of the disease. It was the 8th Ebola outbreak registered in DRC since the virus was discovered in the country in 1976.


From 27 to 29 June 2017, some 514,000 children, aged between o and 59 months, were vaccinated against polio in Haut Lomami Province, the first of two rounds to be carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners. In order to stop the spread of the disease and prevent other children from becoming infected, children were also vaccinated in parts of the neighboring Haut Katanga and Lualaba provinces. A second, due to start on 10 July, will target children who missed the first phase. Last April, two cases of polio virus derived from a vaccine strain were confirmed positive by Congolese authorities.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.