Some aid work restart in eastern Congo

Camp in eastern Congo. Relative improvement in the security situation in Goma has allowed at least two U.N. agencies to resume some operations there. Photo by: Frederic NOY / UNHCR

Relative improvement in the security situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has allowed at least two U.N. agencies to resume some operations there.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said it is once again delivering aid to internally displaced people in 12 sites around Goma, capital city of the strife-torn North Kivu province. The agency was forced to stop its operations in most of these sites after rebels took over the city on Nov. 20.

The World Food Program has also resumed aid work in Goma and is set to return to Bunia, a city in the nearby Orientale province. WFP temporarily suspended operations in Bunia after its offices and warehouses there were attacked and looted.

Despite resumption of some aid, the two agencies stressed that humanitarian needs in Goma and other areas affected by the fighting between Congolese troops and the so-called M23 rebels remain dire.

IDPs need water and shelter, according to UNHCR, which said there have been some cases of diarrhea, vomiting and respiratory infections because of poor sanitary conditions and lack of shelters.

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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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