A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
More than 760,000 people have been displaced in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the beginning of 2012, in the Kivu provinces alone. This reflects a new dimension to the ongoing crisis for the country. Areas that were relatively stable are again under attack as the Congolese army fights M23 rebels, and new localized armed groups spring up.
Evidence gathered from communities by Oxfam in 2012 shows that people from communities in many parts of eastern DRC feel that their security situation has deteriorated. Government soldiers, armed rebels, police, and civilian authorities are all competing to exploit local communities and extort money or goods from them, pushing people further into poverty and undermining their efforts to earn a living.
Oxfam urges the government of the DRC, regional and international governments, and the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to take action to ensure greater protection for civilians.
Photos: IDP camps near Goma, eastern DRC