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ACT Alliance Alert: Support to displaced people in renewed fighting in Eastern DRC

ACT Alliance - Switzerland - Tue, 20 Nov 2012 14:19 GMT
Author: Elisabeth Gouel
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Support to displaced people in renewed fighting in Eastern DRC

Geneva, 20 November 2012

1.       Brief description of the emergency

A humanitarian crisis is looming due to renewed fighting in eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as M23[1] rebels fighting the government closed in on Goma town on Monday 19th November 2012 and took over the town at mid-day today 20th November 2012.  The conflict puts to risk the population of Goma town (about 700,000 people) and the people in the surrounding areas who are now waiting to relocate to safer areas and to neighbouring countries.  About 60,000 displaced people in a camp, 10 km north of Goma, have had to move again due to rebel activities near the camp.

2.       Impact

The increased level of displacement cannot be established today due to continued fighting. Earlier in the year, conflict displaced more than 260,000 people in the province and more than 70,000 people fled to Rwanda and Uganda as refugees.  New displacement will further increase the number of people relying on immediate humanitarian assistance for basic survival.

The water supply system in Goma town is currently not working well and more people are using unsafe water from the lake further increasing the risk of a disease outbreak.

Military activities have also caused a lot of fear to the population in Goma. There is no security in the town and the forum members fear that civilians will be caught up in the fighting. 

3.       National and international response

Humanitarian access is a challenge in the present circumstances and humanitarian actors have called both sides to uphold their responsibility on protection of civilians and allow humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.

4.       ACT Alliance response

The ACT forum members in Goma met yesterday morning and were planning for a rapid assessment before things changed for the worst and they had to retreat to their homes. 

ACT members evacuated their expatriate staff to Rwanda for safety reasons during the last weekend and on Monday 19th November 2012.

ACT members continue to monitor the situation and will provide more information on the situation in DRC, Uganda and Rwanda.

5.       Planned activities

ACT members in DRC, Rwanda and Uganda will provide life saving support to the displaced and refugees during this critical time.  Members in DRC are considering a rapid response request to the ACT Alliance for the initial response.  Members in Uganda are appealing for more support to the existing appeal UGA121- Support to Congolese refugees: (


Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jean-Daniel Birmele, ACT Chief Finance Officer (

[1] A break away group of soldiers « Mouvement du 23Mars »

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