DRC conflict escallates, IOM responds to increasing humanitarian needs

DRC soldiers24 May 2013, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization, APO, GENEVA, Switzerland — Renewed fighting between government forces and the M23 rebel group north of the Provincial capital Goma has led to tension and increased insecurity in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC.

IOM maintains a strong presence as it continues to manage displacement sites surrounding Goma and provides humanitarian support to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

IOM has continually urged those recently displaced to seek refuge in one of many different displacement sites where the security situation allows for registration activities and for the provision of humanitarian aid.

“This is imperative for the safety and well-being of IDPs,” said IOM DRC Chief of Mission Laurent de Boeck. “As soon as the attacks occurred, I dispersed teams throughout the conflict zones to monitor movements and advised the IDPs to find safe havens in specific locations,” he added.

Specific attention continues to be given to coordinated management of information in pre-existing displacement sites with national and international partners. IOM continues to release the outcomes of its displacement tracking to partners and humanitarian actors, in order to better direct response activities for similar situations.

The IOM team in Goma started the initial phase of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in December 2012, and has since identified 90 sites throughout North Kivu. The largest displacement sites include Mungunga I, Lac Vert, Nzulo and Bulengo, which together hold tens of thousands of IDPs.

Together with its partners, IOM continues to work to meet the needs of the growing displaced population. Through the Spontaneous Sites Working Group, IOM shares its profiling activities and coordinates response with partners. IOM is also currently engaged in a series of Camp Management and Camp Coordination trainings with UNHCR to build the capacity of national and international actors.

The recent outbreak of violence occurred days before the arrival of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was accompanied by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. During their ongoing trip to the Great Lakes region, the World Bank announced a 1 billion USD development package for the region which could “be a major contributor to a lasting peace in the Great Lakes region.”

About the Author