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Crumbling DR Congo – The Making of a Humanitarian Emergency

The scale of the humanitarian crisis requires an urgent international response – but the world is yet to step up to the challenge. The number of people who do not have enough food to eat has surged by 30 percent this year to 7.7 million. The number of children suffering severe acute malnutrition stands at 1.9 million, exceeding those of Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria combined.

Congo is the country worst affected by conflict displacement – for the second year running. An average of 5,500 people flee their homes every day, bringing the total number of displaced to over four million. The UN sounded the alarm by declaring the country a Level 3 emergency – the worst-of-the-worst of humanitarian crises. But aid has been extremely slow to arrive for the 13 million people in need. Less than half of the $812 million appeal for 2017 is currently funded. The provinces of Kivu, Kasai and Tanganyika are the current epicentres of the violence in the country.

In South Kivu, IRIN has documented the rape and sexual violence committed by government soldiers since September as it cracks down on a new rebel alliance – the National People’s Coalition for the Sovereignty of the Congo. Victims and witnesses provided IRIN with dozens of horrifying first-hand accounts of the sexual violence committed by the national army, the FARDC, which is forcing communities to flee, and building support for the insurgency.

Read more: IRIN,

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