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Save the Children: Humanitarian response in DRC underfunded | More children displaced

Displaced persons in DR Congo Displaced persons in DR Congo

Save the Children International (SCI), the charity organisation, says escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is forcing more people out of their homes.

In a statement on Wednesday, SCI said about 2.8 million children are now displaced in the DRC, accounting for 40 percent of the total number of displaced people which has risen to 6.9 million from 5 million in July.

The statement quoted the latest data from the United Nations (UN) displacement tracking matrix.

“over 5% of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are now displaced after the number of people forced from their homes rose by 27% in the past four months amid escalating violence,” Save the Children said.

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DRC, with a population of about 95 million, has the second highest number of displaced people globally after Sudan, with persistent violence between government forces and armed groups destabilising the country.

According to the statement, more than 26.4 million people need humanitarian assistance in the DRC – or about one in every four people – including 14.2 million children.

Last month, the Central African country recorded high levels of violence, launching several attacks in the northeastern regions of DRC with children continuing to bear the brunt of the conflict.

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“Many children growing up in the DRC are living through the toughest experiences. Every day children are experiencing harrowing violations against their rights,” Cecilia Thiam, humanitarian director for SCI in DRC, said.

“They’ve watched their homes and schools being destroyed. Armed groups force their friends and family members into armed recruitment, and many have survived sexual and gender-based violence, abuse, and abductions.

“Despite the extent of the crisis, the humanitarian response is severely underfunded. With the increased numbers of internally displaced people, the situation will become even more terrible, resulting in a shortage of food, healthcare, and shelter.”

SCI has worked in the DRC since 1994 to meet humanitarian needs linked to the displacement of populations due to armed conflict.

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The charity organisation also assists children in accessing basic education by building classrooms, training teachers, and distributing learning materials.

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