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UNICEF needs more than US$ 133 million to respond to the crises that affects children and women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 7 August 2012 – UNICEF today released the update of its Humanitarian Action Report 2012 in which the organization expresses its deep concern at the situation of vulnerable populations in the DRC. Thousands of children are exposed to violence, epidemics and malnutrition.

The recent wave of violence in North Kivu boosts the need for shelter, health care, food, water and sanitation, protection and education at a time when some humanitarian actors have difficulties to access affected populations. UNICEF needs US$ 35 million to meet the most pressing needs of children in the emergency-affected areas through the end of 2012, and US$ 98 million to deliver a comprehensive humanitarian response across all sectors.

In the East of the country the number of displaced has reached its highest level since 2009 with nearly 2.2 million people who fled fighting and insecurity. One in two of those who are affected are aged under 18.

Disturbing reports of underage recruitment by armed groups who benefit from instability in the region were received. 258 schools in North Kivu have been looted or burned. The new school term scheduled for September is at risk for nearly 60,000 children.

The resurgence of epidemics is another source of concern. Over 20,000 cases of cholera with 481 deaths were recorded since January.

In 2012, 1 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition and 820,000 of them still lack access to treatment. In the western provinces and the center, acute malnutrition rates often exceed the emergency threshold of 15%.

"We must make every effort to protect children, everywhere and always," said UNICEF Representative a.i. Sylvie Fouet. "Whatever the circumstances, their right to live and thrive must be respected."

For more information, please contact:

Nona Zicherman, Urgence UNICEF DRC, +243 99 100 63 03,
Cornelia Walther,Communication UNICEF DRC, +243 (0) 81 884 676:



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