UNICEF Democratic Republic of the Congo Humanitarian Situation Report No. 11, November 2019

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 30 Nov 2019

Highlights

  • As of November 2019, over 876,000 persons have been affected by floods and are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in twelve provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The floods have worsened the humanitarian context in the affected provinces with high risks of cholera outbreaks and a resurgence of diarrheal diseases due to the poor hygiene conditions and water contamination. Significant needs in WASH, health and education have been identified due the infrastructure damage and limited access to basic social services. In response to the floods, UNICEF has been one of the first responders on site, providing a response in WASH, education, health, C4D, child protection, and nutrition.

  • UNICEF launched its Rapid Response program with its first distribution in Ndalya health zone, Ituri province, reaching 653 households with NFI kit distributions.

  • As of the end of November 2019, 4,500 children under the age of five died from measles in the DRC. In response to the measles outbreak across the country, UNICEF has vaccinated over 1,351,800 children in humanitarian situations since January.

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)
estimates for 2019

27,162
cases of cholera reported since January (Ministry of Health)

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 November, UNICEF Argentina, SIDA, and the Republic of Korea 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 69%. Without sufficient funding, over 620,000 children will not have access to adequate therapeutic care for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), over 666,000 children affected by conflicts or natural disasters will not access quality education and psychosocial activities, and at least 638,800 persons affected by conflicts or natural disasters will not gain access to basic WASH services.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Flooding: Since October 2019, over 876,000 persons have been affected by floods and are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance in twelve1 provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (see table 2). The floods have caused significant material damage; in North and South Ubangi, over 32,000 houses, 632 water sources and 142 schools and health centers have been damaged. Furthermore, 8,970 students, of which 4,359 girls, are deprived access to quality education with the destruction of 16 primary schools and the flooding of 146 classrooms in South Kivu and Maniema2 . In the country’s capital city, torrential rains resulted in the death of 41 persons. The city faces high risks of a cholera outbreak with multiple sporadic cases of cholera reported. In addition, the upstream provinces of the Congo River, Maniema and Tshopo, are currently facing a cholera outbreak. The floods have further exacerbated the populations’ vulnerabilities by rendering access to basic services (schools and health centers) inaccessible or destroyed. Affected populations are currently placed in host communities, sleep in in public places (schools) or in makeshift shelters. Water points, cemeteries and latrines have been damaged in the flooded areas and the risk of waterborne diseases has increased because of overflowing latrines, usage of turbid water from affected aquifers and poor hygiene conditions. The most urgent needs are the provision of water treatment products, hygiene kits, construction of emergency latrines, and WASH materials (PUR, Aquatabs, jerrycan, and soaps). Furthermore, these floods result in significant needs in health as affected areas are already vulnerable to epidemics (measles, cholera, malaria). This context poses a high risk in the resurgence of diseases due to the presence of stagnant and contaminated water.

Population displacements: Between the end of October and the beginning of November 2019, intense fighting has started between FARDC armed forces and armed forces in North Kivu province, of which more than 60 civilians were killed in attack. On 20 November, nearly 4,000 people took refuge from Beni to Ituri where 360,000 people are already in displacement. Currently, there are approximately 14,000 people displaced in axe Mangina - Biakato and it is estimated that number of displaced populations will increase given the on-going military operation.

Cholera: As of week 47, 27,162 cases3 of cholera have been recorded in 22 provinces of the DRC, of which 472 deaths were notified. During the reporting period, the most affected provinces are South Kivu, Haut Katanga, North Kivu, Tanganyika and Haut Lomami, where 602 out of the 687 cases were reported.

Nutrition: In collaboration with UNICEF, the National Nutrional Program conducted a nutritional survey in Kambare, Walungi, Katakokombe, and Kembe territories. The results indicated that the listed territories above are in critical nutritional situation with the prevalence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) of 2.7%, 2.8%, 1.5%, and 4.2% respectively. Furthermore, as of October 2019, 73% of nutritional alerts come from Kwango, Kasai, and Tsuapa provinces.

Measles: As of week 46, all 26 provinces of the DRC are currently facing a measles outbreak with 261,376 cases4 recorded, of which 5,291 deaths were notified. During week 46, the most affected provinces are Mai Ndombe (1,256 cases), Equateur (1,116 cases), Kwilu (1,103 cases), and South Kivu (863 cases).

Child Protection: Child protection remains one of the most significant needs in the DRC with multiple conflict outbreaks, gender-based violence, and recruitment of children in militia groups. A summary of affected children in need is detailed below: