DR Congo

Thousands flee as fighting intensifies in eastern Congo

News and Press Release
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As ferocious fighting engulfs parts of eastern Congo, Mercy Corps is supplying displaced families with the most critical resource of all: clean, fresh water. Your support can help us ensure that supplies and basic services continue to reach these families as an already desperate situation worsens.

New attacks by rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo have displaced enormous numbers of people over the past several days. More than 200,000 have fled the fighting and sought refuge in communities and displacement camps near the besieged city of Goma.

Mercy Corps is playing a key role in the emergency response efforts by providing lifesaving water, sanitation and other services to those forced from their villages and homes.

On October 28, we delivered more than 200,000 liters of potable water to the community of Kibati, where the majority of newly displaced families have sought refuge from the fighting.

"The situation is becoming critical. We have over 200,000 newly displaced persons, in addition to the 850,000 that were already displaced in the areas around Goma. The water and sanitation needs are enormous, but we're trucking potable water to people who desperately need it," said Matt Gribbin, Mercy Corps' program coordinator in Congo.

Unfortunately, the situation is likely to worsen. More battles are expected over the coming days, and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force is already stretched to the limit. Massive numbers of people continue to flee conflict zones, seeking refuge in swelling displacement camps and with host families.

"We are very concerned about the humanitarian situation. The population here had already reached its coping capacity before recent events, and now they are in dire need of support from the international community. Without resources for continued services, we expect a steep increase in malnutrition and diarrhea-related diseases," said Luke King, Mercy Corps' Country Director here in Congo. "Nevertheless, we'll continue to make strong efforts to respond to the needs of the population".

Families in this part of Congo, who have endured the deadliest conflict since World War II, have already lost homes and loved ones. They are now trapped in communities and camps with violence raging all around them. Please help us speed water and other critical supplies to them in their time of greatest need.

Your donations are needed to save lives, prevent worsening disease and build hope in a devastated environment.