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DR Congo: MSF deplores 'slow humanitarian response that excludes remote areas'

IDP camp in North Kivu eastern DR Congo   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The Charity group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as "Doctors Without Borders" on Tuesday deplored the "lack of coordination" in the humanitarian response in a troubled and remote region of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where, according to the NGO, more than 150,000 displaced people are in urgent need of assistance.

In the territory of Lubero, north of Goma, capital of the province of North Kivu, more than 150,000 people, who fled the fighting between the Congolese army and the M23 rebellion, are living in "total destitution", MSF said in a statement, which "calls on humanitarian actors to mobilize as soon as possible.

MSF says it has observed "a slow humanitarian response, marked by a lack of coordination, despite the availability of funding and the presence of many organizations in Goma.

According to MSF, aid to North Kivu is focused on the provincial capital. But "the inhabitants and displaced people in remote areas" remain "left to their own devices and receive no aid," according to Caroline Seguin, MSF's emergency operations coordinator in North Kivu.

The needs "are immense," Seguin said. "Our aid will not be enough. Today, we call on all humanitarian actors to mobilize to organize the delivery of aid to this population in distress," said MSF.

Fighting is complicating access to this landlocked region. At the end of February, the United Nations announced the suspension of humanitarian flights after one of its helicopters was shot at. Since then, access to Lubero territory has become more complicated, notes MSF.

Attempts by AFP to reach other humanitarian actors in the region were not immediately successful.

The M23 rebellion took up arms in November 2021 and has since seized large swathes of territory north and northwest of Goma. According to the UN, the fighting has displaced some 800,000 people in one year. The DRC accuses Rwanda of supporting this rebellion, which Kigali denies.

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