Press statement by Ulrika Blom, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in DR Congo:
"We are deeply concerned by the rapidly escalating and increasingly dangerous violence in Eastern DR Congo.
In Beni in North Kivu, an area affected by Ebola, violence is now spiralling to horrifying levels. Twelve people were killed and 15 people were kidnapped this weekend in Beni, a town that has been under repeated armed attacks over the last two months. Whole areas of the town have been emptied because people are fleeing to find safety. Farmers are too afraid to access their fields by fear of being killed.
On the Ruzizi plain in South Kivu, clashes between armed groups risk limiting humanitarian agencies' access to the southern part of the province, where the humanitarian needs are pressing.
Alarm bells have been ringing for quite some time in DR Congo and the world has continued to hit the snooze button. If the world does not answer the call of the 13.1 million people in need across the country, and quickly, we fear they will suffer fatal consequences in the very near future.
The increased violence and displacement put serious pressure on the already overstretched humanitarian resources. Since 2016, the humanitarian situation in DR Congo has gravely deteriorated, yet international funding and attention have not matched the exploding needs. So far this year, donor countries have only contributed with 28 per cent of the necessary funding to meet the most pressing humanitarian needs.
We call for the international community to urgently scale up the humanitarian operations in DR Congo".
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