Lifesaving medical supplies and equipment delivered to conflict-hit eastern DRC

10 March 2023
Des palettes dans un avion cargo.

GOMA, 10 MARCH 2023 – A cargo plane containing more than 72 cubic meters of UNICEF’s lifesaving supplies for displaced people landed on Friday (10 March) in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The material was delivered to Goma by a Humanitarian Air Bridge flight organised by the European Union, supported by France.

The emergency material contains 50,000 sachets of Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) which will play a vital role in tackling diarrhea and cholera in 8,300 households.

The sachets will mainly be distributed to thousands of people displaced by recent violence in the Goma area of North Kivu.

The cholera threat in crowded camps where they live is causing increasing concern.

Cholera along with measles and malaria are major health issues throughout eastern DRC, especially in those areas affected by large population movements.

Among the health and nutrition supplies being delivered on Friday are Emergency Health Kits containing medicines and equipment to be distributed in several health centres.

This will allow for health and nutrition material to be provided to tens of thousands of people in areas affected by the resurgence of violence.

In addition, the flight is carrying large consignments of Vitamin A supplements which will be distributed to 300,000 children to strengthen their immune systems, prevent malnutrition and offset the effects of measles.

Although the bulk of the cargo will be delivered in Goma, some equipment – including midwifery kits – will be delivered throughout the East.

Conflict has displaced more than five million people in the east of the DRC, with more than 800,000 persons forced to flee their homes in North Kivu alone since the start of the latest crisis in March 2022.

In Ituri about 190,000 children under 5 years of age are estimated to be acutely malnourished with thousands of people displaced since the beginning of 2023.

“This huge consignment of aid has only been possible thanks to the close working relationship between UNICEF, the Congolese government, France, and the EU,” said UNICEF Representative to the DRC Grant Leaity.

“It also would not have been possible without funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Canada, the Swedish government development agency (SIDA) the World Bank and Germany.”

The cargo of medical equipment arrived in Goma at the same time as visits to the North Kivu capital by the EU and Fench Ambassadors to the DRC.

“This commitment confirms and strengthens our solidarity with all the victims of this humanitarian tragedy in the east of the DRC, in parallel with our full support for the various initiatives underway to restore lasting peace there," said the EU’s DRC Ambassador Jean-Marc Châtaigner.

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Sylvie Sona
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