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Concern returns to Goma as ceasefire is called

Concern Worldwide's team in the North Kivu region of Democratic Republic of Congo, has returned to the agency's main office in Goma, having been evacuated last Wednesday.

While welcoming the recent ceasefire, Concern is co-ordinating with partners on the ground assessing the security situation, after recent fighting, before attempting to return to the town of Masisi, 87 kilometres from Goma. 

Thousands of displaced persons are roaming the countryside in need of food, shelter and medical attention. Forces from the rebel CNDP and troops from the government’s FARDC continue to occupy positions throughout North Kivu.

Sustained security needed

Concern is calling for safe and uninterrupted access to be secured immediately. Security needs to be sustained in the longer term or the Democratic Republic of Congo faces a humanitarian catastrophe.

Over 1.3 million people are already internally displaced and humanitarian agencies are struggling to maintain effective operations.

Concern has approximately 300 local and international staff based in DRC.

Relief work hampered

The rapidly deteriorating security situation in recent days has greatly impeded Concern’s work. In coordination with its partners, Concern had been providing assistance to approximately 14,000 internally displaced people in four camps near Masisi town. These camps have been provided with essential shelter and household items for almost a year now. Concern has also been supporting approximately 2,400 families in the area, who have taken displaced people into their homes, by providing them with shelter.

Rehabilitation work on key roads and bridges in the areas have also been carried out by Concern. This work has injected significant amounts of cash into the local economy, thereby having a beneficial knock-on impact on the whole community.

Concern’s operations in other territories of Democratic Republic of Congo remain unaffected by the security situation in North Kivu.