UNICEF Democratic Republic of the Congo Humanitarian Situation Report October 2019

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 31 Oct 2019

Situation in Numbers

7,500,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, HRP 2019)

12,800,000 people in need (OCHA, HRP 2019)

1,260,000* Internally displaced people (IDPs) (HRP 2019)

24,391 cases of cholera reported since January (Ministry of Health)

Highlights

• 7 th October, UNICEF and the Provincial Minister of Health in North Kivu launched the polio campaign for children between 6 months – 5 years old. All children who have received the vaccination have also received complementary vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets in 17 targeted health zones

• 12th October, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) government officially declared a cholera epidemic in Maniema province with 3 health zones affected and 99 newly recorded cases. As of week 43, 24,391 cholera cases, of which 438 deaths, were recorded throughout the country, affecting 13 out of the 26 provinces

• The DRC is currently facing the world’s largest measles outbreak with over 203,200 cases of measles reported in all 26 provinces of the country, of which over 4,000 deaths were recorded. Children under the age of five represent 74 percent of infections and nearly 90 per cent of deaths

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF appeals for US$ 326M to sustain provision of humanitarian services for women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In October, United Sates fund for UNICEF, USAID/Food for Peace, French Committee for UNICEF and the World Bank have generously contributed to UNICEF DRC humanitarian response. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received. However, the 2019 HAC still has a funding gap of 70%. Without sufficient funding, over 666,000 children will not have access to adequate therapeutic care for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), over 714,000 children affected by conflicts or natural disasters will not access quality education and psychosocial activities, and at least 654,000 persons affected by conflicts or natural disasters will not gain access to basic WASH services.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Nutrition: As of September 2019, the number of health zones in nutritional alert increased from 46 health zones to 48 health zones1 in the DRC. The most affected provinces are in the Grand Kasai, of which 22 out of the 48 health zones are in alerts.

In October 2019, the nutritional survey in Gungu health zone, Kwilu province was validated by the National Nutrition Department of the Ministry of Health (PRONANUT) and the nutrition cluster. This report indicates the prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) was above the 10% emergency threshold and stands at 10.4%, while the prevalence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was at 1.4%. No emergency response has been implemented in this health zone because of the lack of funds.

Measles: Since January, 222,939 cases of measles have been reported in all 26 provinces of the country, of which 4,455 deaths (2% lethality rate) were recorded2 . Children under the age of five represent 74 per cent of infections and nearly 90 per cent of deaths. The number of measles cases in DRC this year is more than triple the number recorded for all of 2018. The measles outbreak in DRC has become far deadlier than Ebola, which to date, has taken 2,171 lives3 .

Cholera: The number of cholera cases continued to increase during the reporting period in the DRC with 24,391 cholera cases4 , of which 438 deaths (1% lethality rate) were recorded. 13 provinces are currently affected by cholera outbreaks, of which North Kivu and South Kivu are the most affected provinces. In Haut Katanga, the number of cholera cases increased by 80% due to the rainy season and high population movements in the area. In Tanganyika province, the risk of a cholera epidemic remains high as 45,000 internally displace persons living in four sites near Kalemie have not received a WASH response since June 2018. Suspected cases of cholera were also recorded in 6 out of 11 health zones in the province with no response in progress due to the lack of funding. In Kasai Oriental province, 920 cholera cases have been reported, of which 6% of cases are children under the age of 5 years old.

Child protection: During the reporting period, the number of human rights violations has significantly increased, mainly in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu5 province. During the reporting period, 125 incidents of human rights violations were reported, of which 60% were perpetrated by armed men in the province. Furthermore, the Child Protection Working Group conducted a rapid evaluation, of which 91 Children formerly Associated with Armed Forces/Groups (CAAFAG), 285 Unidentified and Separated Children (UASC), and 195 orphans have been identified in Masisi territory. Due to the recent outbreak conflict in South Kivu province, a protection evaluation conducted by the child protection cluster identified 150 UASC and orphans in need of assistance7 . Women and children remain at risk of exploitation and abuse, including Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). In Ituri province, 199 cases of incidents against human rights violations were recorded during the reporting period, resulting over 4,567 incidents documented since January. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 19,633 children were directly affected by the destruction or occupation of their schools or child protection facilities, of which 5,015 children affected by the destruction or occupation of child friendly spaces.

Conflicts/Population displacements: In October, conflict outbreaks led to mass population displacements in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri. In North Kivu province, over 15,990 households have been displaced and continue to live in precarious conditions in schools and churches. In South Kivu province, between September and October 2019, 60,000 newly displaced persons were recorded due to continuous intercommunity clashes surrounding Minembwe and Moyens Plateaux in Fizi, resulting in 210,000 IDPs since the beginning of the conflict. In addition, 3,500 newly displaced persons moved from the Haut Plateaux in Fizi towards Lake Tanganyika9 . In Ituri province, almost 227,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been recorded in 87 displacement sites surrounding Djugu territory10 as of August 2019. Furthermore, 1,575 returnees from Uganda were recorded back in Ituri province and 2,858 household returnees settled back in Linga and Dhendo communities11 .

Flooding: Heavy rains in the region caused flooding along the Ubangi River and the Congo River, affecting at least 8,860 households in three provinces (South Ubangi, North Ubangi and Equateur) during the month of October. Suspected cases of cholera were reported at week 44 in the littoral health zones of the river, of which one case was declared positive in Lukolela health zone.