On December 17th, the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report outlining the key issues and priorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to date. The full text of the report can be found here: North Kivu Situation Report 18 OCHA – DRC
OCHA highlights and key priorities include:
- Concerns for protection of civilians as armed groups reportedly amass in Masisi
- Education specialists start rehabilitating 261 schools in Beni territory; 100 schools to receive food for school canteens
- Mine experts continue to clean contaminated areas, survey schools in Goma
- Girls, 55% of children separated from families.
The situation in Goma remains relatively calm, but there is a lot of random violence from robbers and there have been a number of murders. The crimes are blamed on a variety of militia members, military personnel, civilians and the thousand prisoners who escaped when M23 rebels came into Goma. People are hoping that the talks in Kampala will yield peace.
Months of moving from one place to another, without access to fields and the food most people live by, has resulted in a lot of malnutrition. Without a stable peace process in place, people remain rootless and unable to resume their normal activities. Most of the rural people in North Kivu (and South Kivu) are farmers. The large number of militias and military have prevented many from farming, or exposes them to rape, robbery and the looting of the food they produce. The soil is fertile, but without access to it there is no food. This has many consequences for everyone, both urban and rural.
Many of the patients at the hospital are helped by the World Food Program, but often it is not adequate to rebuild their bodies’ after an extended period of malnourishment. Without stability and security, livelihoods are disrupted and many go without survival essentials. HEAL Africa’s emergency relief funding is being used to treat many of the wounded from the 10 days of occupation in Goma by the M23. While the M23 have left Goma, the situation remains unstable and medical treatment remains a huge and dire need for many.