“There is nobody else to stand up for them.”
In the remote Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1.4 million people have fled their homes because of a full-blown regional conflict.
Ordinary people are at great risk of violence, with attacks on civilians a daily occurrence.
Nearly 3 million people are at emergency or crisis levels of hunger
“This is not a high-profile emergency. It will not be appearing in the news,” says Tom Newby, head of humanitarian response for CARE International UK.
But CARE is not willing to stand by as the hope of stability and development that the people of this fragile country have had in recent years is taken away.
CARE works in the hardest-to-reach places
Before the crisis, CARE was one of the few agencies already working in the Kasai region.
And our humanitarian teams are on the ground now, supplying clean water and food, helping provide shelter to those who have been displaced, and working to protect people from the violence.
Read more in our blog Helping people in a conflict zone.
- What CARE is doing
The emergency in the Kasai has taken the world by surprise. The need is massive – but as of the end of July, only 156,000 people out of the millions affected had received any assistance.
Before the conflict erupted, CARE was one of only a handful agencies working in the Kasai region. We have been running a variety of health programmes as part of our longer-term development support to the people of the DRC.
CARE staff are now urgently scaling up our humanitarian response in the region. CARE teams are on the ground now, working to protect people from violence, as well as ensuring people have food and safe water.
But our teams in the DRC are already stretched – and we need to do so much more.
CARE intends to protect and get aid to 225,000 people in the coming weeks. But we need more funds to enable us to reach and help those most in need.
- The crisis in brief
Since August 2016, the provinces of Kasai – formerly a relatively peaceful area – have been the scene of a violent uprising by a local militia group. The violence spread rapidly, and as the conflict grew in intensity, all the parties to the conflict began to commit indiscriminate acts of violence against the civilian population.
Huge numbers are at great risk of violence, including sexual violence. Attacks against civilians are a daily occurrence.
Children, largely recruited by the militia, have become hostages to the conflict. Thousands of children have been separated from their families and used as combatants, generating significant needs in terms of child protection.
At least 1.4 million people in the Kasai region have been displaced from their homes and villages since the beginning of the crisis.
Homes, schools, health centres, and infrastructure such as water supplies, have been damaged or destroyed. People have fled their homes with no belongings and no means of support.
The situation has created a huge – yet largely unreported – humanitarian crisis.
2.8 million people (36% of the population) are in food emergency or crisis.
The crisis in Kasai adds onto pre-existing crises in the DRC in the Tanganyika and Kivu areas. The total number of internally displaced people in the DRC is 3.8 million, the most of any country in Africa. 16 out the 26 provinces in the DRC are in a situation of conflict.
Please donate today and show the people of the DRC that their suffering is not being ignored.
A journey across drought-affected South Sudan and SomaliaRead how CARE (with funding from the DEC and UKaid) is helping people affected by drought in East Africa...What is it like to experience a hurricane like Irma? This is what some of the affected people told us....Ishwori Rana describes how CARE has helped her family following the floods in Nepal.