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UNHCR considers worrying deterioration of situation in DRC

United Nations, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) described as worrying the deterioration of the humanitarian situation of civilians in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to figures published by the entity, over 144 thousand people were forced to flee the outskirts of the city of Goma, one of the most affected by the resurgence of fighting in the neighboring city of Sake.

Reports claim that non-state armed groups also launched a series of selective attacks against civilians this week in Beni and in the territory of Irumu in the province of Ituri.

UNHCR protection monitoring teams received reports of murders, kidnappings and house burnings.

The agency asked local authorities to expand two sites for displaced people on the outskirts of Goma in order to deliver 900,000 shelters in 2024 together with other humanitarian agencies.

For their part, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Food Program called for immediate measures to protect children and families caught in the escalating hostilities.

“The increase in violence and displacement is straining the resources of both agencies to mount a comprehensive response that includes food, clean water, good sanitation, safe shelter, basic health care and protective services for women and children,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the Secretary General, said on Friday.

Aid workers also warned of the cutting of crucial land routes to facilitate the delivery of food and other supplies, leading to shortages and price increases in local markets in Goma.