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DRC: WHO supporting Nyiragongo volcano victims

The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are helping populations affected by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano located…

The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners are helping populations affected by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano located in Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Three days ago, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said “Some 350,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.”

Responding to this call for help, the World Health Organization (WHO) offered “medical supplies and medicines” to displaced people in Rutshuru and Minova, two territories in the North and South Kivu Provinces.

The lava flows from the Nyiragongo volcano have caused the displacement of nearly 450,000 people. For the past week, UNHCR has been working to set up “collective shelters to relieve congestion in schools and churches” and to distribute “essential items such as tarpaulins, blankets and hygiene kits.” The World Food Program (WFP) is also giving out food rations.

Recently, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi admitted, on the basis of information provided by the government return mission from Goma, that the humanitarian situation was serious but under control.

The last eruption of the Nyiragongo, ranked among the most dangerous volcanoes in Africa, dates back to 2002. Hundreds of people were killed. This impressive volcanic crater erupted on May 22, officially killing at least 30 people. Following the advice of volcanologists, the Congolese authorities had previously ordered the evacuation of a large part of the city of Goma as quickly as possible.

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