More than 400,000 children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are suffering from severe malnutrition and face death threats in months if urgent aid is not forthcoming amid continued violence in the country, the United Nations warned on Tuesday, as cited by AFP.
With Christmas approaching and the launch of its campaign to sell greeting cards in Europe, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a statement saying “at least 400,000 children under the age of five in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo suffer from severe malnutrition and face the risk of dying during In 2018 if they do not receive health and food aid.”
“Only 15 percent of the funding needed to meet the children’s food needs in 2017 has been received,” the statement said.
WFP is talking about 250,000 children at risk of dying in the coming months in Kasai.
“There are 160,000 children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo dying every year for reasons related to malnutrition,” the United Nations said in a statement issued on November 30.
The cholera epidemic in the country has become a minor tragedy compared to other deaths, with 1,055 deaths out of 50,507 cases suspected of cholera in 23 out of 26 provinces in 2017, according to the Ministry of Health.
The Congo, whose population suffers from chronic poverty despite its wealth, has experienced three armed conflicts for 15 months: armed groups have increased in the eastern province of Kivu, the Kasai province crisis in central DRC since September 2016, and the Bantu and Pygmies In Tanganyika in the southeast.
– Humanitarian crisis in 2018 –
All indications warn of a massive humanitarian crisis the Democratic Republic of the Congo fears in 2018: record numbers of displacement, hundreds of thousands of children at risk of dying, non-governmental organizations with under-funding and a country without potential.
“The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not getting the attention it is supposed to be, but it is going to become the most pressing situation in 2018,” said Mohamed Abdeker, head of the International Bureau of Migration, on his return to the central African country.
The violence in 2016 and 2017 resulted in the largest internal displacement in the world, surpassing the number of displaced Syrians, Iraq or Yemen, according to the UNHCR and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
These sources confirmed that the Congo is currently registering 4 million displaced persons, with an increase of 1.7 million this year.
Tens of thousands of Congolese have taken refuge in Zambia and Angola, knowing that the Congo has borders with nine different countries.
“The situation is not improving by June 2018 because the planting seasons in Bart’s 2017,” UNICEF said.
The humanitarian situation in the DRC worsened due to the political crisis in Kinshasa, where elections were postponed until December 23, 2018, in a move aimed at the radical opposition demanding the departure of President Joseph Kabila at the end of the year.
Former Prime Minister Sami Padebanga appealed for an “international donor conference” for Kasai. “With 77 people leaving in one minute of extreme poverty in Asia, 3.6 people per minute are diving into poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” he said bitterly.