$299 MILLION NEEDED FOR AID RESPONSE
The Government and the humanitarian community on 20 February launched a humanitarian response plan appealing for US$299 million to assist 2.3 million people. Humanitarian needs have risen by 31 per cent this year compared with 2018 owing to violence and insecurity mainly in the North-West and South-West regions. The response plan focuses on life-saving assistance, bolstering the protection of affected civilians from abuse and exploitation, and identifying risks and vulnerabilities to support the Government in strengthening the resilience of communities to shocks. In 2018, the $320 million budget received only 40 per cent of the funds.
GUNMEN KILL FIVE IN IDP CAMP ATTACK
Armed assailants on 19 February attacked Bourboura IDP camp in Ngouboua locality in the western Lac region, killing five people and wounding four others. The camp hosts more than 1,000 displaced people, half of whom arrived recently. In a separate attack also on 19 February, armed men raided Ngachia village in Ngouboua where 365 displaced people have sought refuge. The attackers abducted four people, including two teenagers. Villages near Ngouboua suffer regular armed attacks. There is little security and people live in constant fear. An upsurge in violence in recent months in north-east Nigeria has forced thousands of civilians to flee across borders for safety.
PREGNANT, NURSING WOMEN CAN RECEIVE EBOLA VACCINE
A WHO expert panel on 20 February recommended that pregnant and lactating women should be included in Ebola vaccination underway in eastern DRC where the virus erupted in August 2018. Around 83,000 people have so far been vaccinated. The panel also recommended that the vaccination must include provisions for safety monitoring and for documentation of Ebola cases among those vaccinated, including monitoring of pregnant women and their babies. Separately, a new Ebola infection was reported in Beni, the first after 23 days, WHO reported on 22 February. The patient is suspected to have come into contact with the bodily fluids of an Ebola survivor.
Investigations are underway to determine the epidemiological link. As of 22 February, 864 Ebola cases and 540 deaths had been recorded since the outbreak started.
SOME 15,000 SOUTH SUDANESE FLEE TO DRC
Around 15,000 South Sudanese have crossed into the DRC fleeing an escalation of violence since 30 January, according to the authorities in Aru territory in the north-east Ituri province.
The majority have settled near the border. Around 6,000 have relocated to a displacement site supported by UNHCR and its partners. Ituri is currently home to 45,000 South Sudanese according to immigration authorities. It also hosts some 8,000 Congolese who have fled fighting in other violence-hit regions of the country.
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs