Child Alert - Democratic Republic of Congo - Martin Bell Reports on Children Caught in War UNICEF

UNICEF photo: A camp for 20,000 displaced in the eastern Ituri region.

©UNICEF/HQ05-1231/LeMoyne

A camp for 20,000 displaced in the eastern Ituri region.

Uprooted from their homes
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UNICEF correspondent David McKenzie reports on children growing up on the run.

Eastern DRC is characterized by constant upheaval and conflict. At the end of 2005, an estimated 120,000 people were fleeing their homes in the east every month. There are also displaced persons in the north and west, and violence and instability have led 400,000 people to flee DRC for neighbouring countries. When people are uprooted, UNICEF and other relief agencies move in to provide emergency aid. However, the difficult living conditions are particularly hard on children, who become more vulnerable to forced recruitment, abuse, malnutrition, disease and loss of access to education.