Aid groups eye scaling up efforts as rebels pull out of Goma

A young boy at an IDP camp in Goma. Australia has announced new funding for international aid efforts in and around Goma, North Kivu, where the humanitarian and security situation remains under careful watch. Photo by: Sylvain Liechti / United Nations / CC BY-NC-ND

Australia has announced new funding for international aid efforts in and around Goma, North Kivu, where the humanitarian and security situation remains under careful watch.

The 5 million Australian donation ($5.2 million) will support efforts of the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to assist people fleeing the fighting in the city and its nearby areas. UNHCR is involved in the voluntary repatriation of internally displaced people as well as working with other U.N. agencies and aid groups to deliver assistance.

The agency recently completed a needs and security assessment in Goma and other conflict-affected sites in North Kivu. It noted that the situation in the capital city, from which M23 rebels withdrew Dec. 1, is “relatively stable.” But there remain some pockets of “uncertainty” as well reports of carjacking and looting, the agency said. The airport has also yet to be opened.

Clashes near the Rwandan border have also yet to abate and there are reports of an attack on the Mugunga internally displaced people camp located 10 kilometers west of Goma, the Agence France-Presse reports.

Meanwhile, UNHCR and its partners are considering expanding their aid operations to deliver shelters, blankets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, jerricans, soap bars, sanitary towels and other nonfood items to more families in Goma and nearby places.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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