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Attacks in the D.R. Congo
|The children are confused, scared, and tired|
The IRC was carrying out routine field work in the region in recent weeks when staff came upon hundreds of people trudging along roads and through forest with all the belongings they could carry. They spoke of horrific attacks in which family and neighbors were slaughtered, women were raped, and homes were looted. Most of the displaced have been able to find shelter with locals in the Kabare and Katana zones, but Linda Poteat, deputy director for the IRC in Congo, says the host families are poor themselves and don’t have the means to feed and care for their guests.
The IRC already provides health care in Kabare and is extending medical services to the new arrivals. With cases of measles on the rise, the IRC is encouraging the displaced to bring their children for vaccinations. The IRC has also begun vaccinations in Katana.
Ms. Poteat says there will be an urgent need for food and shelter as more displaced people arrive. The IRC has begun preparations for setting up tents and improving access to water.