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DRC scales up its response in Drodro as civilians continue to bear the brunt of the escalation of violence

Civilians in the eastern province of Ituri are caught in a spiral of violence perpetrated by non-state armed groups. The repeated attacks triggered the displacement of 156,000 people and the death of at least 120 people in Djugu territory alone since the beginning of the year, according to OCHA.

Posted on 28 Feb 2023

Written by Pauline Wesolek - Regional Advocacy Manager

Many of the new arrivals were already displaced before and arrived in Rhoe with significant needs

/  Chloé Makiello, the Danish Refugee Council’s (DRC) Head of Programmes

The new escalation of conflict has worsened the humanitarian and security situation in IDP sites across the province.

Following attacks on Drodro site, close to 25,000 already displaced people sought sanctuary in Rhoe, bringing the population of the site to over 77,000 households.

The influx of new arrivals could make Rhoe site burst at the seams.

A protection assessment conducted by DRC in January 2023 alerts that there is no shelter available for the new arrivals: women and girls stay with host families in the camp, while men and boys sleep outside, exposing them to risks of gender-based violence and physical aggression.

50 percent of respondents indicated that women do not feel safe even within the site.

The risks are heightened by the extremely limited WASH facilities in the overpopulated site, where most latrines are not functional.

The security situation also makes it impossible for people to leave the site in order to tend to their fields or earn an income.

In order to be able to afford food, many resort to negative coping mechanisms, including school drop outs and survival sex.

People came to Rhoe in order to find safety, but the conditions in the overpopulated site are extremely difficult. While we have observed a great deal of solidarity between people, the reality remains that there are protection concerns and that people are in dire need of emergency assistance

/  Michel Paradis, DRC’s Country Director in DR Congo.

While the security situation hampers humanitarian access, DRC managed to activate its crisis modifiers in order to respond to the growing needs in Rhoe, with the financial support of ECHO and BHA.

DRC’s team built four community shelters and is setting up emergency latrines.

Our teams also provided protection support to 100 people, including psychological first aid, distributed 6,000 school kits and 100 baby kits and is planning to provide food support to 2,000 households with a malnourished child referred by MSF.

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