KINSHASA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is scaling up deliveries to northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo and to the neighbouring Republic of Congo to feed tens of thousands of Congolese people displaced by a recent upsurge of violence in and around Dongo village in DRC’s Equateur province.
More than 38,000 Congolese fled violent clashes in DRC on 30 October and crossed the river westwards into Republic of Congo. Some 14,000 people are also estimated to be internally displaced inside DRC, too scared to return to their villages. Dozens of people were killed and villages such as Dongo and Buburu are still empty. In some locations, bodies are still visible lying in the streets or in the river.
United Nations assessment missions on both sides of the river underline the need for food assistance for people, mainly women and children, who have been on the run for several weeks now.
WFP DR Congo is currently assessing exact needs in localities around Dongo and is planning to start food distributions in the second week of December with stocks already in country.
A total of 23 trucks carrying 455 metric tons of WFP food have also arrived in Betou in northern Republic of Congo from the Central African Republic, as well as 8,000 litres of fuel to facilitate humanitarian assistance. A cargo plane chartered by WFP in Brazzaville delivered medical and other supplies on 22 November for WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF in Impfondo.
Barge deliveries of food assistance are also planned but time is short as it is the rainy season and this part of the Ubangi River, which forms the border between the two countries, will not be accessible by large barges from mid-December.
In coordination with the Ministry of Social Affairs and UNHCR, WFP is planning to start distributions in Betou, Dongou, Enyelle and Impfondo districts of Likouala province next week in the Republic of Congo. WFP teams are currently assessing exact needs and making sure that security is guaranteed before food distributions proceed.
An emergency distribution of 10 tons of rice and 1.5 tons of high energy biscuits already took place in Eboko (Betou district) in ROC to 187 vulnerable families on November 22.
For further information:
Alejandro Chicheri, WFP/Latin America, Caribbean, Tel. +507 317-3900, Mob. +507 6675- 0617
Emilia Casella, WFP/Geneva, Tel. +41-22-9178564, Mob. +41-792857304
Jennifer Parmelee, WFP/Washington, Tel. +1-202-6530010 ext. 1149, Mob. +1-202-4223383
Bettina Luescher, WFP/New York, Tel. +1- 646-556-6909, Mob. +1-646-8241112