As over 260,000 people became displaced by continued violence in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is warning against the soaring humanitarian needs of the displaced population, particularly for women and girls in the Rutshuru, Nyiragongo and Lubero territories.

Adama Coulibaly, IRC Country Director in the Democratic Republic of Congo, expressed concern:

"The fighting in recent weeks has made the daily lives of tens of thousands of people even more difficult. More than 262,000 people have been displaced by the recent violence in North Kivu. Women and children are particularly vulnerable as they become exposed to increased risk of exploitation and abuse in their displacement. IRC teams have adapted existing programming to provide emergency health, education and protection support to displaced populations. The international community should step up efforts to ensure that vulnerable populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are protected, including women and children, and to ensure affected populations are able to access humanitarian assistance.”

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been reeling from years of insecurity, multiple ebola outbreaks and a further humanitarian crisis following the eruption of Nyiragongo last year.

The IRC is calling for all parties to the conflict to allow access to affected populations, and to commit to the protection of vulnerable populations, including women and children. 

The IRC has been working in the DRC since 1996 providing emergency assistance and humanitarian aid to those affected by violence and uprooted from their homes. As the country struggles to recover from decades of conflict and widespread epidemics, the IRC is focusing our efforts in North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika and in the city of Kinshasa by providing health care, water, sanitation, protection services and emergency supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in eastern and central Congo.