Over 92,000 refugees fleeing conflict in the Central African Republic have arrived in 40 locations in the Democratic Republic of Congo since Dec. 2020.
According to local authorities quoted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the 40 different localities are in the provinces of Bas-Uele, Nord Ubangi and Sud Ubangi.
“Their most immediate needs include education, shelter, health, food security as well as water, hygiene and sanitation. The needs are enormous for these refugees,” said an official of the UN agency in Kinshasa.
“Within the context of the crisis, even the humanitarian partners are in great need of assistance.”
The UNHCR disclosed that the funds meant for the humanitarian response are extremely limited and are subject to strong pressure by reason of the big needs of the refugees and the host communities.
A local source said the situation would not be this dire if the available rations were equitably distributed and the humanitarian agencies were allowed to operate in peace and security with the available rations.
“Even the stretched supplies and humanitarian workers are regularly attacked by heartless armed individuals who take the supplies away to feed drugged terrorists whose main stock in trade is to harass and kill the local populations.”
He lamented that the government has not been of much assistance in ensuring that the situation is remedied.
“Sometimes, the local populations think some of the armed individuals who raid and cart away humanitarian supplies intended for refugees may even be members of the national armed forces,” he added.
With UN forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo stretched to breaking point, and with increasing accusations of criminal acts including sexual violence against women, by some members of the various foreign contingents of the forces, the people seem to be in for a long haul before adequate solutions are found to the myriad of problems.