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Thousands of DRC residents in urgent need – OCHA

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Flag map of Greater Congo_Democratic_Republic of the Congo

More than 350,000 of the 1.8 million people affected by record flooding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) need urgent life-saving assistance, UN humanitarians said on Thursday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the flooding impacting nine of the country’s 12 departments beginning in October 2023 — the worst in 60 years — prompted the government to declare a state of emergency last month. “While water levels have started to recede in the north, access remains challenging,” OCHA said. “Many villages can only be reached by canoe or boat.” The office said nearly 250,000 people are unable to access primary health care. Some 27,000 children are out of school. “Our humanitarian colleagues also warn that the floods could also have mid- to long-term consequences due to the impact on livelihoods,” OCHA said. “Initial assessments led by our partners estimate that 2,300 hectares of cultivated land have been flooded.” The office said it means that fruit trees, fishing gear, small cattle and other means to produce food on the land have been destroyed.

The humanitarians said UN agencies support the government in providing a relief response. But it needs financial support urgently. Organizations are assessing what’s needed, where, and how to deliver the aid. On Wednesday, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths allocated 3.6 million U.S. dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund for the most pressing needs of 270,000 people in the DRC.

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