Cash assistance to buy food and other essentials

At the water taps in Bushagara displaced persons camp. Photo: UNICEF/John James.

Democratic Republic of Congo, North Kivu.  The emergency in DRC is one of the most complex crises globally. Clashes between armed groups have created unprecedented need and forced millions to flee their homes.

“We need water to prepare food, so when there’s a shortage, the family can’t eat,’’ explains Frediana, who lives at the Bushagara camp on the outskirts of Goma in the east of the country.

In 2023, CERF allocated over $45 million to boost the capacity of UN agencies to respond to the crisis in the east. With CERF support, UNICEF, in partnership with the Congolese organization YME Grands Lacs, constructed water stations, as well as new latrines and showers, in the camp where Frediana lives. This funding helped 108,000 displaced people access safe water and sanitation.

Like Frediana and many others, Christine and her six children fled their village following an increase in the fighting. They found refuge in another camp, Rusayo, just outside Goma. Christine relies on cash assistance to buy food, medicine and the essentials her children need.

Cash is a critical part of the emergency response. Through WFP, CERF funding supported the distribution of cash assistance worth $1.7 million in 2023.

“In DRC, where we face many challenges around insecurity, hampered access and poor infrastructure, this approach allows us to respond quickly and effectively. It also contributes to the resilience and recovery of local economies, supported in the long run by sustainable development,” explains Azzurra Chiarini, WFP Head of Programme in DRC.

“Things are good at the site – people are living together quite harmoniously. But, we are all just waiting for the war to finish so that we can go home,” says Frediana.

Original story: adapted from original article by UNICEF

More information on the CERF allocation to DRC.