Deadly floods aggravate Congolese humanitarian crisis

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) MORE than 40 people have died from floods that have worsened the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Over 876 000 have been affected by the floods that have hit 12 provinces (out of 25) in the country resulting in high risks of cholera outbreaks and a resurgence of diarrheal diseases.

Poor hygiene conditions and water contamination raise such fears.

The floods that claimed 41 lives have further exacerbated local populations’ vulnerabilities by rendering access to basic services such as schools and health centres inaccessible or destroyed.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) lamented that floods would result in significant needs in health as affected areas were already vulnerable to epidemics such as measles, cholera and malaria.

Prior to the flooding crisis, DRC has been suffering the world’s worst measles outbreak and second-largest eruption of Ebola in world history.

Over 5 000 people, including 4 500 children under the age of five, have died from measles this year. Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 2 200 people since an outbreak in August 2018.

UNICEF reports that 472 people have died of cholera as at the end of November this year.

Eternal conflict, mostly perpetrated by rebel groups, have left 12,8 million people – about 15 percent of the total population- in need of humanitarian assistance

UNICEF is appealing for US$326 million (R4,65 billion) to sustain provision of humanitarian services for women and children in the DRC.

– CAJ News

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