Aid Groups: Crisis in DRC to Grow

Posted November 20th, 2012 at 3:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Aid groups say a humanitarian crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo will likely intensify, now that rebels have taken the city of Goma.

The World Food Program says aid workers are now taking shelter in its compound in Goma, which is protected by U.N. peacekeepers. It says its operations for internally displaced people in North Kivu province are temporarily suspended.

WFP and Doctors Without Borders both estimate that about 60,000 people who were staying in refugee camps in the area have fled.

Doctors Without Borders says it has extra medical staff and supplies on the way to Goma to respond to any additional medical and humanitarian needs. It says its cholera treatment center is preparing for a new influx of cases as thousands of people arrive and set up camp in and around the city.

Even before the latest fighting between rebels and the Congolese army, North Kivu was the center of an extended humanitarian crisis.

Years of fighting involving rebel and militia groups have displaced an estimated 2.4 million people in the eastern DRC. The WFP is currently assisting about 1 million people per month in the area.