What is the Kasaï crisis?
Violence initially flared in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in August 2016, sparked by tensions between customary chiefs in Kasai-Central Province and the government. The violence spread rapidly in early 2017. Existing intercommunity tensions became part of a wider conflict involving militias, armed groups and security forces across a region the size of Germany. Beyond Kasai, the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has deteriorated dramatically over the past year.
How many people have been affected?
When violence broke out in 2016, hundreds of thousands of people ran for their lives. Women and children displaced by violence have escaped to isolated locations to find safety – losing access to essential goods and services such as health care, safe water and sanitation, and education. The militias have used children to fight and kill, or to act as human shields. Today, 3.8 million people in the Kasai region need humanitarian assistance, including 2.3 million children.
How is UNICEF helping?
UNICEF is on the ground helping to deliver life-saving supplies and services. Since January 2017, UNICEF and partners have treated 71,500 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition; and, since August 2017, vaccinated 2 million children for measles; provided access to water, sanitation and hygiene services for more than 326,400 children; and assisted more than 1,700 children released from militias.