DR Congo: More than 44,000 people receive emergency food aid as violence in eastern provinces intensifies

DR Congo: More than 44,000 people receive emergency food aid as violence in eastern provinces intensifies

Kinshasa (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), together with the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has provided food aid to over 44,000 newly arrived displaced people in camps around Goma, in North Kivu province. A further 18,000 people in Nzulo camp, outside Goma, received essential relief items.
News release 28 March 2024 Democratic Republic of the Congo

As humanitarian needs continue to grow at an alarming rate, the resources available to respond to the crisis are in danger of running out very quickly.

The escalation in fighting between the armed forces of the DRC and the March 23 Movement (M23) in the southern part of North Kivu province is driving increasing numbers of civilians from their homes, many of them multiple times. While most of the displaced find refuge with host families, large numbers continue to stream into displacement sites.

The camps around Goma cannot absorb everyone, so many families are settling in makeshift sites, where they are exposed to water-borne diseases such as cholera. They also struggle to get one meal a day.

  François Moreillon, head of the ICRC delegation in the DRC.


The armed clashes are also forcing thousands more people to flee, often repeatedly, to areas further and further away from the fighting. At present, over 39,000 families have found refuge in Kanyabayonga, in Lubero territory in northern North Kivu province.

“These people risk ending up in remote areas, where they are exposed to more violence and  cannot get the humanitarian aid they so urgently need”, says François Moreillon.

Over the last months, the level of violence against the civilian population, including sexual violence, has increased dramatically in the areas of North Kivu affected by the conflict. According to the coordination group on gender-based violence in North Kivu, in the first two months of 2024 the number of cases of sexual violence rose by 80 per cent compared with the same period last year. Between January and mid-March 2024, 230 survivors of sexual violence were referred to the ICRC for medical care and psychosocial support.

The ICRC is continuing its dialogue with the parties to the conflict, to remind them of their obligation under international humanitarian law to respect and protect all civilians, the sick and the wounded, and to ensure that those who have fled the violence can receive vital aid.


ICRC activities

(1 January to 22 March 2024)


Protecting family links together with the DRC Red Cross

  • 11 phone booths were set up in displaced persons camps in North Kivu (5) and South Kivu (6);
  • From mid-February, more than 12,000 free phone calls were made from the booths; over 10,000 calls enabled separated family members to reconnect.



  • 450 wounded people were admitted to the ICRC surgical programme. 89 wounded were transferred from Goma (North Kivu) to Bukavu (South Kivu);
  • 254 cases of sexual violence, registered in combat zones, were referred to the ICRC for medical and psychosocial care.


Water and habitat

  • From 21 February, around 35,000 newly displaced people received daily drinking water supplies at Lushagala displacement site in North Kivu.


 About the ICRC

 The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.


For further information, please contact:

Paulin Bashengezi, ICRC Goma, tel: +243 82 695 5545, pbashengezimushamuka@icrc.org

Fatima Sator, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 848 49 08, email: fsator@icrc.org