DR Congo: Weekly Humanitarian Update (28 August - 3 September 2017)

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Aug 2017 View Original


The United States government's development agency, USAID, has announced more than US$ 8 million in funding to respond to humanitarian needs in the Kasai region. This new funding brings to $ 26.1 million the amount received under the $ 64.5 million appeal launched last April. It is among the latest in a series of funding or pledges of funding made in recent weeks. On the eve of the new school year, the situation looks very critical for thousands of displaced children. The humanitarian needs in education are urgent: 400 schools have been attacked since the beginning of the crisis, of which at least 260 were destroyed. For our latest situation report please see here: DR Congo - Situation Report N°12: Complex Emergency in the Kasai Region (25 August 2017).


Nine of the province's 16 health zones are affected by the water-borne disease. The changing trend of weekly cases suggests a risk of rapid spread of the disease to unaffected areas, and the upcoming rainy season could exacerbate the situation. In response, UNICEF has provided three complete cholera kits to the affected areas; the World Health Organization (WHO) brought in 3,000 sachets of oral rehydration solution, among others. This assistance will ensure the care of some 600 cases. Last week, Haut Lomami reported 87 cases of cholera including 8 deaths. The area of Mulongo recorded 37% of cases, but accounted for 7 out of the 8 deaths. The majority of cases originated from fishing camps along the Kibala and Kabamba lakes. Cholera has become endemic in the province due, in large part, to poor access to water and poor hygiene practices. Provincial authorities have not yet officially declared an epidemic.
In South Kivu where cholera has become endemic, prevention and community sensitization remain the weakest link in tackling the disease, despite initiatives supported by health agencies. Some 1,024 cases and 3 deaths are reported as by 30 August. WHO has committed to supporting the Minova Health Zone in chlorination activities of 18 water points for a period of 30 days; UNICEF has provided chlorination equipment for all epidemic health zones; other NGO actors are also active in the Fizi health zone. However, given the magnitude and the evolution of the epidemic, more funding, more activities by provincial authorities and their humanitarian actors, and a greater buy-in from communities themselves are required.


Earlier this week, humanitarian actors in Ituri signed off on a plan to assist the 57 survivors, 280 orphans and neighboring families following the landslide in the fishing village of Tara where over 30 bodies have been recorded and more than 100 are still unaccounted for. Among others, the World Food Programme is planning a food distribution; UNICEF plans to distribute school items and non-food kits; the local Red Cross has finalized the disinfection of the area, which it had begun on 25 August 2017.
One of DRC’s telecom company Vodacom started mobilizing funds to support the victims through a partnership with the International Organization for Migration. Other donors such as the Chinese,
Belgian and South African governments have also promised funds to support the emergency response. Both provincial and national authorities have provided cash, food and non-food assistance to the victims.


The World Food Program and its local partner VIPATU last weekend provided some 92 tons of food (cereals, legumes, oil and cooking salt) to some 7,700 people, the third and final ration for these displaced persons. The first two distributions took place in June and July 2017. In May, they also received assistance in essential household items provided by the NGO AVSI. OCHA is due to hold an inter-cluster mission from 1 to 5 September 2017 to take stock of the situation in the area.

In the neighboring Nyunzu and Kalemie health zones, the international NGO International Rescue Committee on Wednesday launched a 9-months primary health care project targeting some 78,000 people. IRC started intervening in these two areas in October 2016. The area will also benefit from institutional support including the training of health providers and 30 community health monitors. This project is funded by USAID.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.