DR Congo

UNHCR Weekly Emergency Update - Ituri, South Kivu and North Kivu Provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo (13 – 27 April 2020)

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Situation Report
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On 15 April, UNHCR completed a cash distribution in Ituri Province among vulnerable women in displacement sites and staying with host families. 2,909 women, including local women, were reached in six locations. This assistance allows the women to turn away from harmful coping strategies.

In Kitchanga (North Kivu Province), a community-based protection groups took the initiative of installing handwashing devices in the displacement sites of Kahe and Mungote, and in the villages of Nyakabingu, Muhongozi and Burungu, as part of the prevention of COVID-19.

UNHCR and AIDES completed a shelter project in Fizi Territory, South Kivu Province. 1,000 internally displaced and local households were able to construct their homes and latrines. Each household received a handwashing station and was sensitized on COVID-19.

Operational context and protection situation

Ituri Province: The security situation in Djugu and Mahagi territories remained unstable in the second half of April. According to local alerts, over 200,000 persons have been displaced since March. Splinter groups from the CODECO armed group continued their retaliations against the DRC’s military, and targeted displaced persons who had returned to their villages of origin. Since the beginning of March, at least 199 returnees have been killed and some 8,000 houses burnt down by assailants. These attacks discourage other displaced persons from returning home. Humanitarian access to many areas of Djugu and Mahagi territories also remains limited, preventing the delivery of vital assistance in a period where needs have increased sharply because of new displacements and the consequences of COVID-19 prevention measures, as confinements and social distancing have slowed down the provision of assistance.

North Kivu Province: Military operations against the ADF armed group continued in Beni Territory, as well as activities of the Mai-Mai armed group in Lubero Territory. Some 60,000 people were reportedly displaced in southern Lubero Territory and in Beni Territory’s Rwenzori sector, according to UNHCR’s partners and community-based protection groups. In Rutshuru Territory, clashes between the DRC’s army and the FDLR armed group were reported from 16 to 23 April in the Bishusha area, Bwito Chiefdom. Some 201 households who were living in areas controlled by FDLR elements fled to host families in the village of Buhara. Two unaccompanied children were identified by community-based protection groups and referred to child protection organisations for assistance. UNHCR is leading missions to both areas to assess needs.

South Kivu Province: Uvira town has been hit by floods, reportedly killing nearly 40 and injuring over 150 persons, while affecting about 80,000 persons in different neighborhoods. Houses and water, sanitation, hygiene and health infrastructures have been damaged or destroyed in neighborhoods that were already overcrowded, affecting locals as well as IDPs and refugees. Road access to and from Uvira has also been compromised, making humanitarian access nearly impossible. The floods significantly affected the Ruzizi plains too, in Uvira and Fizi territories, where there are two refugee camps. The security situation in Baraka town remains of concern as incidents affecting humanitarian actors continued. In neighbouring Maniema Province, population movements from Kabambare Territory towards Fizi Territory (South Kivu Province) continued due to attacks targeting the local population.