Democratic Republic of the Congo Article

DRC: meeting the humanitarian needs of people fleeing conflict in North Kivu

Since November 2023, fighting has intensified in North Kivu province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo between government forces (FARDC) and fighters from the March 23 movement (M23). This new wave of violence has led to the displacement of over a million people, worsening the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in the east of the country.

These massive population displacements, mainly affecting women, children and the elderly, leave displaced people and host communities extremely vulnerable. Access to essential needs such as food, water, health, education, shelter and protection is hampered by this intensification of the conflict.

However, the conflict is not confined to North Kivu province. In October 2023, South Kivu counted more than 40,000 internally displaced people who had fled the fighting, mainly to its territory of Kalehe. In January 2024 alone, 45,000 new IDPs arrived in this territory. To respond to the crisis, Acted’s rapid response teams, present in South Kivu since 2003, deployed to the field on January 15, 2024 to carry out a series of multi-sectoral needs assessment surveys in order to select beneficiaries.

These assessments enable Acted to identify the most appropriate aid to bring to displaced populations and host communities affected by the conflict. Acted also pays particular attention to the needs of host communities, many of which become host families for displaced people, putting additional pressure on their material and financial resources.

Following these surveys, Acted, with the support of the Bureau for Humanitarian Action (BHA), plans to provide a rapid multi-sectoral response in the coming weeks to cover the vital needs in food, water, hygiene items and essential household goods of 5,000 households (i.e. around 30,000 people). Each selected household will receive a cash transfer accompanied by in-kind kits, including menstrual hygiene kits for adolescent girls and women.