DRC: Over 2 Million Children at Risk of Starvation

Free My Starving Children Photo . Andy Olsen / NWHCM Staff
Free My Starving Children Photo . Andy Olsen / NWHCM Staff

The United Nations has warned that more than two million children in the Democratic Republic of Congo are estimated to be at risk of starvation.

These children are at the risk of dying as Reuters reported UN saying that these DRC children “dying from severe acute malnutrition if they do not get the aid they need.”

The comments came ahead of a meeting between the UN humanitarian chief Mr. Mark Lowcock and potential donors.

“We have a great responsibility in the DRC … Now is the time to stay the course,” UN Spokesman Jens Laerke said during a briefing in Geneva.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, is expected to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 11 to 13 March.

The UN said, Lowcock will be joined by Ms. Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.  They will meet with Government officials in Kinshasa and travel to Kalemie, Tanganyika Province, to see first-hand the humanitarian situation there.

“Mr. Lowcock is expected to call for greater support to the humanitarian response in the country, and to invite international donors to the first-ever donor conference for the DRC, which will be held in Geneva on 13 April,” the UN said.

The humanitarian community in the Democratic Republic of Congo urged for $1.68 bn to respond the need of over 10 million people.

The DRC is in trouble because of inter-ethnic violence and the ongoing protests against its ruler Joseph Kabila.

Doha based Al Jazeera reported that 79 people died because of inter-ethnic violence last week in the Ituri province between Hema herders and the Lendu farmers.

The Congolese society was terribly divided because of ensuing inter-ethnic violence in 1998 and 2003 claiming tens of thousands of lives.

The ethnic violence, after an apparent low, seemed to get back again since mid-2016 when violence erupted between Bantu and Twa ethnic groups.

The violence between the groups destroyed more than 400 villages between July 2016 to March 2017.

In the recent years, tens of thousands of people have participated in protests against its longtime dictator Kabila who has been gripping the power of DRC since 2001.

Kabila’s term ended in 2016 but he continued to stick to the power of the country with a promise that the country would have an election by the end of this year (2018).

In the last year, more than 1.5 million people fled from their homes in fear for their lives.

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