DR CONGO: UNICEF WARNS A LACK OF FUNDING HINDERS EFFORTS TO ASSIST DISPLACED
Nearly 1.9 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – half of them children – continue to live away from their homes after having been displaced by armed conflict, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported today, adding that a lack of funds was hindering efforts to continue assisting them.
To meet the humanitarian needs of those in need this year, UNICEF has appealed for $133 million, but only $20.5 million has been received to date, Christiane Berthiaume, the agency's spokesperson, told journalists in Geneva.
A UNICEF-led vaccination campaign has reached more than 400,000 people, including 85,000 children under the age of five and nearly 43,000 pregnant women in eastern DRC, where conflict has raged for more than a decade.
But the funding gap has made it difficult for the agency to immunize an additional 80,000 children under the age of one, and more than 16,000 pregnant women, Ms. Berthiaume added.
UNICEF's programmes in the DRC focus on health, education, hygiene, water and immunization.
Armed combatants in DRC have often targeted civilians for attacks, rape and conscription into armed groups, according to UN humanitarian agencies.
ACCRA / GHANA / AFRICAN / WWW.MODERNGHANA.COM