International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC to repair health clinics and schools in violence-wracked North Kivu

An International Rescue Committee team yesterday began an assessment of the damage and destruction inflicted on health clinics and schools by fighting between rebels and government soldiers outside the city of Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. An estimated 140,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in and around Goma, during which the rebel March 23 Movement, or M23,  seized the city. While the majority of those displaced have fled to camps, some people are starting to return home to villages that were deserted and pillaged during the fighting.

The IRC, along with its partner organization Caritas, is prepared to repair and rebuild damaged health centers in Niyragongo District, north of Goma, and resupply them with medicine and equipment. The IRC and Caritas are also assessing the condition of 148 schools in the area and will help rebuild, repair and refurnish them as needed.
 
The IRC meanwhile is stepping up assistance to survivors of sexual violence in the camps near Goma. The IRC has trained a partner organization to provide counseling and medical referrals to survivors of sexual violence and is working in two displacement camps. The IRC is also sending additional support staff to these camps as more displaced people arrive.
 
In the Rutshuru Territory, also in North Kivu, IRC-supported health centers and women’s protection programs have continued to function throughout the crisis. 
 
With fighting spilling over from North Kivu into neighboring South Kivu province, the IRC is concerned about the displacement of people in that province. As part of an inter-agency effort, the IRC’s rapid response team based in South Kivu is conducting a preliminary assessment of the needs of displaced people in the town of Minova, the scene of recent clashes. 

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