UN relief chief to visit Rwanda and DRC

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Special correspondent

The United Nations relief chief will embark on a three-day visit next week to highlight the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its effect on the region, particularly on neighbouring Rwanda.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos is expected to discuss ways of strengthening relief efforts and mobilizing additional assistance, including financial support, with Congolese and Rwandan authorities and other humanitarian partners.

According to the UN Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), fighting in DRC’s North Kivu province has led to the displacement of more than a quarter of a million people in recent weeks, including tens of thousands across the borders into Rwanda and Uganda.

Since 2009, armed conflict in the eastern part of the country has internally displaced some 2.2 million people.

During the 6 to 9 August visit, Ms. Amos will visit North Kivu to see first-hand the humanitarian impact of the conflict and the relief efforts, and on Thursday she is expected to travel to Rwanda, where she plans to visit a camp hosting Congolese refugees.

She will also visit Kinshasa and Kigali, the capitals of the DRC and Rwanda, respectively.

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