UN Program Feeds Thousands of Displaced in DRC

Posted June 8th, 2012 at 7:25 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations Food Program is increasing aid to thousands of displaced people fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The WFP said Friday it fed nearly 20,000 more people from the DRC and host families in the city of Beni over the past month, and the agency expects the demand to grow if the conflict escalates.

The WFP estimates about 12,000 more refugees and internally displaced people from the DRC's North and South Kivu provinces will need emergency help in coming days. The World Food Program says in a statement issued Friday it is providing assistance to 532,000 Congolese refugees and IDPs in the Great Lakes area.

The WFP says it provides assistance to a combined 500,000 refugees and internally displaced people in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. That help comes with a cost, and the World Food Program anticipates a budget shortfall for the three countries of $46 million in the next six months.

The WFP's Regional Director for East and Central Africa, Stanlake Samkange, says it will be critical that the organization has the resources to help those in need.

The U.N. says many of the DRC displacements are a result of violence between Congolese armed forces and renegade soldiers.