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UNICEF and partners bring medical supplies, assistance to displaced Congolese

KINSHASA, 22 August 2013 – Responding to the urgent needs of thousands of displaced persons and their host community in Nobili, North Kivu, DRC, UNICEF and Merlin delivered 3.5 tons of medical/nutritional supplies to the area on Friday, August 16, as part of the OCHA/UNICEF-led Rapid Response to Movements of Population (RRMP) program.

Following clashes between ADF-Nalu rebels and the Congolese Army in July, more than 66,000 people displaced from their homes around Kamango have sought refuge in towns along the DRC-Uganda border.

Many of the displaced who remained in DRC are staying in Nobili, causing the population to triple to approximately 30,000 in the month since the clashes began.

Without access to safe drinking water, food, shelter, and with local hospitals and health centres looted during the fighting, the area has lacked even the most basic resources to combat the disease and malnutrition common with mass displacement.

With supplies now in place, RRMP partner Merlin is operating mobile health clinics in the Kamango-Nobili area, offering essential medical care to the displaced and to host community members as a first step towards improving the humanitarian situation in the area.

Supplies were provided thanks to funding from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

In addition to the mobile clinics, Merlin will continue a three-month emergency health response with assistance to local health facilities, providing support for the treatment and prevention of illnesses such as cholera, malaria and measles.

With the arrival of the medical supplies and support from UNICEF and Merlin, the DRC Ministry of Health has restarted a measles immunization campaign, currently providing vaccination for 45,000 children.

In addition, more than 500 children already have begun treatment for malnutrition.
UNICEF RRMP partners are also working to begin Water, Sanitation and Hygiene support to the Kamango area in the coming days. However, with the continued fighting and instability in the area great concern remains that the humanitarian situation may further deteriorate, and that humanitarian access - and thus response capacity - may be further threatened.


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit www.unicef.org.

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For further information please contact:

Cornelia Walther, UNICEF Kinshasa, Mobile: +243 991 00 63 07, Email: cwalther@unicef.org
Elena Locatelli, UNICEF Goma, Mobile: +243 818 305 915, Email: elocatelli@unicef.org
Ndiaga Seck, UNICEF Goma, Mobile +243 818 305 933, Email: nseck@unicef.org




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