US Backs IOM Aid to Displaced in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Posted: 
08/12/16
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

Democratic Republic of the Congo - USAID’s Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has confirmed a new contribution of USD 2.3 million to strengthen IOM’s assistance to conflict-affected internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

The 12-month programme will allow IOM and its partners to continue the day-to-day assistance and monitor displacement sites in North Kivu province, provide livelihood alternatives for displaced families and search for durable solutions to the displacement crisis, including the option of voluntary return assistance, as part of planned and orderly site closures.

The funding will also boost IOM’s information management efforts to collect, process, analyse and disseminate critical data on displaced populations and dynamics to humanitarian partners, including Congo’s National Commission for Refugees (CNR).

Profiling of existing and new displacement sites will also be extended through the registration of displaced families using mobile data collection techniques.  

“This funding from OFDA is critical to address the needs of displaced communities and to fully understand the complexity of displacement in Eastern DRC,” said Boubacar Seybou, who heads IOM’s office in Goma. “Persistent insecurity means that the country’s 1.7 million IDPs will continue to need humanitarian assistance throughout 2016, particularly the 680,000 individuals currently displaced in North Kivu.”  

There are currently 54 displacement sites in North Kivu province, 27 of which are coordinated by IOM. The remainder are coordinated by UNHCR.

Although it is estimated that 70 percent of IDPs are living with host communities, the number of displaced people in IOM-coordinated sites now stands at over 80,000 individuals.

“Information management and displacement tracking are essential as the number of people in each site constantly fluctuates with new arrivals, spontaneous departures, returns and displacement site closures,” says IOM’s Boubacar Seybou.

For decades, the DRC has been wracked by conflict which has led to a protracted humanitarian crisis that has left 1.7 million displaced and some 7.5 million people in need. Although a peace agreement was signed with the main rebel group – M23 – in 2013, security in eastern DRC remains precarious.

The 2016 Humanitarian Action Plan for the DRC, which appealed for USD 690 million and to date has received USD 202 million.         

For further information please contact Boubacar Seybou at IOM North Kivu, Tel: + 243 (0) 812 043 425, Email: bseybou@iom.int

An IOM staffer assesses conditions at Nzula IDP site. Photo:  IOM