Situation Report and Humanitarian Assistance
The Congolese people in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have suffered tremendously from over three decades of war and conflict with armed groups operating throughout the resource-rich region.
Since 28 March 2022, armed clashes in Rutshuru, North Kivu have led to significant population movements. Although reliable statistics are not available, thousands are said to have found safety in Bunagana and its surroundings, some have taken refuge in churches, schools and other buildings while others have crossed the border into Uganda. The number of displaced Congolese who have been taken in by host families remain unknown.
The sudden population displacement caused by the Mount Nyiragongo volcanic eruption on May 22, 2021 made an already precarious humanitarian situation in the region worse particularly in local communities in Masisi and Rutshuru territories that are already hosting thousands of displaced people who have fled their homes due to the conflict.
In 2021, in collaboration with local partners, House of Mercy Children’s Home, Lagos, Nigeria (HOM) continued to provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced children and women affected by the conflict.
In 2020, House of Mercy Children’s Home, Lagos, Nigeria (HOM) once again contributed to ongoing efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to children in crisis in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In 2019, 2018 and 2013, House of Mercy Children’s Home, Lagos, Nigeria (HOM) lent its support to on-going efforts to provide emergency aid to children caught in the crossfire, refugees and displaced people in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Children in the Kivu provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were not only caught in the crossfire of the area’s ongoing violence but also faced health risks, threats of forced recruitment by local and foreign militias and interrupted education.
This internal armed conflict which has gone on for over three decades is also referred to as “the mobile phone war”, “the coltan conflict” or “the war of resources”. The conflict has uprooted at least 100,000 people, more than half of whom are children under 18 years of age.
Conflict takes a terrible toll on children and on their access to a decent education, which for many is their principal hope of a better future. In many countries, government forces, militias and guerrilla groups continue to recruit, forcibly enlist and abduct children for use as soldiers. The injuries, psychological trauma and stigma suffered by many child soldiers compound the challenges they face trying to catch up on lost years of education.
‘Lest we forget,’ the phrase that sums up the spirit behind war commemorations, urges us not only to remember the war dead but also to strive to protect the thousands of children around the world who continue to be recruited for use as soldiers.
The Democratic Republic of Congo humanitarian crisis remains one of the world’s most complex and protracted emergencies. According to the Global Report on Internal Displacement, of the 6.9 million new internal displacements caused by conflict in 2016, 2.6 million took place in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the country worst affected, with a spike of 922,000 new displacements during the year alone.
Our vision is of a prosperous and peaceful African continent where every child lives in safety and dignity and is enabled to reach his or her full potential.