This operations update is being published to announce an extension of the operational timeframe (new end date: 18 December 2017), enabling the final preparations for the launch of an Emergency Appeal, expected in early December 2017. So far, the IFRC DREF has supported the RC DRC with CHF 271,326 for its initial response in the areas of health, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and non-food items for 612 IDP families from Kasai conflict who have found shelter in neighbouring provinces of Lomami, Sankuru and Kwilu. In parallel to the initial response, the DREF operation supported the RC DRC to conduct an emergency multi-sector needs assessment of this complex humanitarian situation. Given the complex humanitarian needs, RC DRC with support of IFRC and partner NSs, intends to position itself with a well-defined operational strategy and plan that relies on a comprehensive needs assessment leading to the launch of an Emergency Appeal.
DRC is experiencing one of the worst cholera outbreaks of the past 15 years, with 43,852 suspected cases and 871 related deaths being reported in 21 out of 26 provinces since the start of this year. Fears are growing in Kasai, where new cases of cholera have recently been reported: It should be noted that this is a region where over 1.3 million displaced people have limited access to safe water and sanitation. This risk is only further compounded by the fact that Kasai has not experienced a cholera outbreak in the past 10 years.
Since 07 July 2016, when the information on the outbreak of Cholera was shared by the WHO, the DRC RC has been taking part in the crisis meeting co-chaired by the MoH and WHO on the strategic response plan for this outbreak. As part of the initial response, the DRC RC deployed 500 volunteers from its roster of volunteers trained under the Ebola Preparedness program. The CARC also provided 50 Personal Protective Equipment, some NFIS including (1,000 sleeping mats; 1,000 blankets; 1,500 pieces of soap of 200grs each and water purification tablets for 500 families and sanitation material from its stock. This protective equipment includes PPE that was prepositioned in 2014 to respond to Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness. The DREF allocation will be partly used to replenish these pre-positioned stocks.