UNICEF: Restive eastern DR Congo home to one of world’s worst displacement crises for children

Fri 26-01-2018 12:27 PM

NEW YORK, 26th January, 2018 (WAM) — More than 800,000 children have been forced from their homes by violence and armed clashes in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, in what the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, calls “one of the world’s worst displacement crises for children.”

Inter-ethnic violence and clashes between the regular army, militia and armed groups in the provinces of Tanganyika and South Kivu have left some 1.3 million people displaced.

“Children in the eastern DRC continue to suffer devastating consequences as waves of violence destabilise the region,” said Tajudeen Oyewale, the acting head of UNICEF in the vast African nation said on Thursday.

Recent UNICEF data shows that more than 3,000 children have been recruited by militias and armed groups over the past year, raising concern over how the fighting has impacted children’s health and nutritional wellbeing.

“Hundreds of thousands of children in the region no longer have access to health care and education, while many have suffered atrocities at the hands of combatant,” added Oyewale.

Violence has also prevented many people from working the fields to raise crops, fuelling a heightened risk of food insecurity and raising the possibility that thousands of children could suffer from malnutrition due to the lack of food.

To assist the affected children both provinces, the UN agency has appealed for $65 million in support of its response over the next six months.

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Esraa Ismail

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