Saturday, April 1, 2023

Volunteers serve porridge, bread to east Congo’s displaced children

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tiamin rice

Dozens of children stood patiently in line for porridge and a slice of bread distributed at a camp for people fleeing the latest M23 rebel offensive in east Democratic Republic of Congo.

Over 280,000 people have been displaced in North-Kivu province since the group staged their first major offensive in years at the end of March, authorities and the United Nations said on Friday.

They were attacked again in late May and most recently on  Oct. 20,  amid heavy fighting with Congolese forces that had pushed thousands to abandon their homes and seek shelter south of conflict areas.

A fresh wave of displacements in recent days has added pressure to strained government and U.N. assistance.

Local civil society groups have stepped in to help as camp populations grow and food supplies dwindle.

At Munigi camp, which houses hundreds of displaced families outside the provincial capital Goma, members of the Goma Actif collective gave out food to children and pregnant women.

“Children are fragile. They are the most vulnerable. They are not really able to manage hunger,’’ said Goma Actif volunteer Ada Milonga.

Fighting has intensified in recent days as M23 rebels moved closer to Goma, which they briefly overran during their first big insurrection in 2012.



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