UNHCR Chief Calls For More Intl. Attention Toward Congo

UNHCR High Commissioner Guterres reaches out to victims of civil war in Congo

High Commissioner Guterres reaches out to victims of civil war at a refuguee camp in Congo. Photo: UNHCR/D.Nthengwe

UN refugee agency chief António Guterres on October 16 called for more international attention toward a war ravaged Congo, where millions of people have been killed and millions displaced.

The High Commissioner was speaking during a visit to Goma, a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

“If you look at the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all the victims – victims of conflict, victims of illness, health problems, of extreme poverty – the number of people that die, mostly needlessly, every six months is equivalent to the [number of] victims of the Asian tsunami,” Guterres was quoted as saying on the UNHCR Web site.

“Now if you compare the massive support of the international community to the tsunami victims with the support that is given to the DRC every six months, it’s a stark difference,” Guterres added.

In 2004, at least 200,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean lost their lives as a result of the tsunami, with many bodies lost to the sea or unidentified.

In Congo, a country with an estimated population of 66,000,000, the war has cost more than 5.4 million lives. There have also been reports of rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Guterres raises a very important issue here and, I concur with him that more support is needed from the international

Africa is rich in natural resources yet war undermines the prospects on the continent. Photo: Lawal Alhadi

Africa is rich in natural resources yet war undermines the prospects on the continent. Photo: Lawal Alhadi

 community. Africa has struggled to cope with senseless wars and the situation in refugee camps is almost always appalling.

Tens of thousands of children, the futures of tomorrow, are malnourished in refugee camps; there are little signs of hope on their part, at least until they are reassured that things will be different. The outbreak of diseases, the loss of loved ones, lack of income, and the continued outbreak of violence, and raping are all issues that affect refugees in Africa. Let’s step up now and reach out to these victims; saving just one life makes a big difference in our world.

· Click Here for full report on Commissioner Guterres’ visit to DR Congo

Also see:
·
UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman Says “the cycle of intergenerational poverty must end”
· KCS’s Star-Studded “The Black Ball” Benefit Honor Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Youssou N’Dour
· “We Have Got To Reach Higher Heights,” Congressman Cummings Said At The CBCF “Economic Recovery Forum”
· Senseless Killings In Guinea triggers Strike

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