Eastern Congo: IRC Launches Response in North Kivu, Delivering Medicine to Desperate Village
The IRC team brought a month’s worth of drugs to a clinic that had completely run out in the tiny village of Kabaya, where some 4,000 displaced people are seeking refuge—more than doubling the size of the already destitute hamlet.
“The displaced have crowded into the village’s school and church and others are staying with families who hardly have the means to care for themselves,” says Bob Kitchen, who is leading the emergency response operation.
“Aside from a clinic with no drugs and a squalid delivery room, we also found that there are no water points within Kabaya. The women have to walk out of the village to the closest water source, which is unprotected, dirty and also happens to be at the start of rebel-held territory. It’s risky any way you look at it,” Kitchen adds.
Female members of the team met with displaced women who spoke of sexual assaults by all armed forces in the conflict and no where to go for help.
The IRC initially plans to provide technical support and more medical supplies to the Kabaya clinic and similar assistance for two other clinics in the volatile district, as well as aid for sexual violence survivors. The IRC is also preparing to improve water supply and sanitation services in areas hosting displaced communities.
After a brief period of calm, clashes resumed this week between government troops and rebels groups, the largest made up of fighters loyal to General Laurent Nkunda.
Kitchen expressed concern that the fighting is leading to road closures which are severely hampering access to people in need of humanitarian aid.