Concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN Refugee Agency

GENEVA—The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is extremely worried about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions that civilians in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are experiencing. Hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals are trying to find safety on the edges of conflict zones as a result of the increasing violence and conflict.

Since the battle near Sake, in the North Kivu Province, resumed on February 7, 144,000 people have been forced to escape Goma’s outskirts. They have escaped the indiscriminate bombings that, over the past few weeks, have affected residential communities and displacement centers, resulting in over 20 civilian deaths and over 60 injuries.

While the fighting around Sake rages, emboldened non-state armed groups have this week in the Beni region of North Kivu and the Irumu Territory of Ituri Province launched a horrifying wave of targeted attacks on civilians. Reports of murders, kidnappings, and house fires have reached UNHCR’s protection monitoring teams. In order to protect civilian lives, UNHCR strongly urges an immediate end to hostilities throughout the eastern provinces and denounces these crimes against civilians and displaced populations.

The dire humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo exacerbates the predicament of the recently displaced people there. There are still more than 7 million displaced persons in the nation, including 500,000 refugees. The hazards faced by those who are relocated are already considerable due to inadequate housing, subpar sanitary facilities.

Together with other humanitarian organizations, UNHCR has successfully lobbied with local authorities to expand two displacement sites on Goma’s outskirts. In 2024, the organization hopes to provide 900,000 shelters—nearly twice as many as were constructed in the previous year.

The 2024 Humanitarian Response PlanLink is external was introduced on February 20 to address these and numerous other humanitarian problems in the DRC. It made a $2.6 billion funding request to assist almost 8.7 million people who are in need nationwide.

Furthermore, on February 22, UNHCR and its partners unveiled a Regional Refugee Response Plan designed to offer vital security and support to Congolese refugees residing in neighboring nations. The proposal is for $668 million to help one million members of the host community and nearly one million refugees, the majority of whom are in