Canada Supports IOM Scale-up of Humanitarian Aid for Displaced People in DR Congo
Goma – The Government of Canada announced on Wednesday (4/04) that they will fund IOM, the UN Migration Agency in its response to the ongoing displacement crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The funding, which totals CAD 2 million, will be used to provide lifesaving humanitarian aid to displaced people in three provinces: North Kivu, Tanganyika and Ituri.
“This funding arrives at a time when IOM is scaling up its response to the escalating displacement crisis in DRC,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM DRC Chief of Mission.
IOM has been present in displacement sites in North Kivu since 2013 and with this new funding, will be able to continue its activities in North Kivu, while also strengthening its response to internal displacement in Tanganyika and to address the more recently developed displacement crisis in Ituri.
At the end of 2017, Ituri was once again plunged into intercommunal violence, as fighting between the two prominent ethnic communities broke out. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), approximately 343,000 persons have become internally displaced within the province since the beginning of January 2018 following the conflict. As this recent surge of violence was unexpected, humanitarian actors in DRC were not prepared for the massive displacement crisis, which followed.
As vital information on displaced communities in Ituri was greatly lacking, IOM took part in an inter-cluster assessment mission and subsequently conducted rapid needs assessments in three spontaneous displacement sites in and around of the Ituri provincial capital Bunia near the end of March. These assessments included information on approximate number of households and internally displaced persons in the sites, available assistance, gaps and humanitarian actors present on the ground. The rapid needs assessments were shared with the wider humanitarian community to foster a more informed response.
“The funding from the Canadian Government will help IOM scale up its response in Ituri and will be used to conduct site planning in the spontaneous displacement sites in Bunia, assist displaced households with shelter assistance, provide cash assistance, and assist returnees who wish to return to their area of origin,” said Chauzy.
“IOM’s response in the DRC is one of its most underfunded, although it is the country in Africa with the greatest amount of internal displacement – 4.5 million people are internally displaced – and one of the countries with the most urgent needs; 13.1 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection. The upcoming high-level pledging conference for the DRC crisis in Geneva at the end of next week will be an opportunity for the donor community to save lives through providing more funding,” he added.
In December 2017, IOM launched an appeal for USD 75 million to urgently meet the growing needs of displaced people and the communities hosting them across the DRC. IOM’s interventions focus on the following sectors: Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Displacement Tracking, Shelter and Non-Food Items, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, and Protection, particularly responding to gender-based violence. As of today, IOM DRC has received 11 per cent (USD 8.3 million) to address the needs of the appeal.
The IOM Humanitarian Appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is here.