UN: 7.5 million in need humanitarian aid in DRC

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7.5 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including food, the United Nations said on Monday.

Parts of eastern DRC have been wrecked by violence over land and control of mineral resources for more than 20 years.

“A complex and protracted crisis of massive proportions has created humanitarian needs for 7.5 million people, or 9 percent of the population,” said a new report from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Decades of successive shocks have intensified humanitarian needs, leaving a higher proportion of the population vulnerable to the multiple shocks caused by conflicts, epidemics, malnutrition and natural disasters.”

At least five million people have limited o uncertain access to adequate food, and almost half the nation’s children aged below five years are chronically malnourished.

Measles and cholera outbreaks particularly affect children, who are already weakened by high rates of malaria and the lack of proper diets.

Only 22% of the country’s population has access to safe drinking water.

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