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UN provides food assistance to IDPs in Goma, DRC

The World Food Programme (WFP) has started distributing emergency food rations to people who fled their homes in Goma after…

The World Food Programme (WFP) has started distributing emergency food rations to people who fled their homes in Goma after the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on 22 May.The UN humanitarian agency and its partners have so far provided food to more than 43,000 displaced people in Sake, Minova and Rutshuru, towns near Goma that have received an influx of people.

 

“Thousands of displaced people remain scattered across the region amid fears of further eruptions. The displaced have been given 10-day rations of flour, pulses, oil and salt,” WFP reported in a press release.

 

“People are feeling helpless and desperate. Families who have fled are completely dependent on the government and aid agencies for basic necessities such as food, water and shelter,” said WFP’s Eastern Area Coordinator in DRC, Erwan Rumen.

 

He added: “WFP is very concerned about the food and nutrition situation of people forced to leave their homes. We are providing them with the food assistance they need to cope with this crisis.”

 

The eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano has killed more than 30 people and forced an estimated 400,000 to flee their homes or be evacuated. Families who left with a few belongings headed north on the Rutshuru/Beni road, recently cleared of lava that had blocked it, or bypassed the lake towards the towns of Sake and Minova, 27 and 46 km west of Goma respectively. Some had vehicles and continued further south towards Bukavu.

 

Based on assessments last week, WFP hopes to reach a total of 40,000 people in Sake, 65,000 in Minova and 60,000 in Rutshuru, while WFP Rwanda is providing emergency food aid to many others who have crossed the border.

 

In collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), WFP has begun distributing food to 300 children who were separated from their families in the chaos following the eruption.

 

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