Aid workers voice concern over violence and insecurity in DRC

June 14, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Darell Maurice

Concerned with the ongoing deterioration of the security situation and an increase in violence against aid workers, humanitarian organizations operating in the Congolese province of North Kivu have expressed their frustration at the growing insecurity affecting as many vulnerable people as humanitarian workers.

Overall, humanitarian actors are increasingly concerned about the negative impact that this growing insecurity is likely to have on some 1.6 million vulnerable people in need of humanitarian assistance in North Kivu, including 780,000 displaced persons, of which 80% are women and children. “The non-compliance with minimum standards for the security and humanitarian access has already led to delays and even the suspension of some humanitarian activities. We fear that if nothing is done to improve humanitarian access it will have serious consequences on vulnerable populations,” said Philippe Martou, Office Manager of the World Food Programme (WFP) in the eastern provinces of the DRC.

“Attacks against aid are unacceptable and must be condemned at the highest level. We can not remain silent in front of this phenomenon which threatens to spread to other provinces of the DRC. It is our ability to meet the needs of the most vulnerable who are affected,” said Michael Amar, spokesman of the forum of international NGOs in North Kivu.

Since 2015, he observed a worrying increase in attacks against humanitarian workers. In North Kivu in 2015, 31 aid workers have been kidnapped, five times more than in 2014. Since the beginning of 2016, 11 aid workers were kidnapped. On May 6, the tragic death of an aid worker, who found himself in the crossfire of armed groups near Kitchanga, shocked the humanitarian community. North Kivu is the most affected province by the number of incidents against humanitarian personnel, but the risks of violence spread to other provinces are real.

The humanitarian community wishes to remind all stakeholders of the importance of make safeguarding the right to give and receive humanitarian assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darell Maurice

Darell Maurice is a Journalist based in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city Kinshasa and works for Canal7kintv. He also blogs here.

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