WFP Aims to Help 1.2 Million in Eastern Congo

Posted September 21st, 2012 at 11:05 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations is launching an emergency operation aimed at helping 1.2 million people affected by violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The U.N. World Food Program said Friday that fighting has intensified in the eastern DRC as militia groups fight to extend their zones of influence.

It said violence and human rights violations have led to “massive population movements” in five eastern provinces.

The agency's DRC representative, Martin Ohlsen, said that “in most cases, people have left behind their homes, their fields and livestock,” cutting themselves off from any kind of support.

The DRC government has struggled to bring order to the east for years. New unrest flared up in April when the army began battling rebel group M23. Congolese officials have accused Rwanda of supporting the group, an allegation Rwanda denies.

The WFP is appealing for $81 million to fund the new emergency operation, in addition to $85 million to address chronic food insecurity in the DRC.