Humanitarian crisis continues to grow

A UN report on affected populations in the Great Lakes region notes that despite the Lusaka and Arusha peace accords, the magnitude and intensity of the humanitarian crisis continue to grow. The report, prepared by OCHA’s Great Lakes office, said that in 2000, humanitarian operations remained under-funded and on the margins of the international community’s attention. During the reporting period - May-December 2000 - a 12 percent increase in Great Lakes refugees outside the region (Gabon, CAR, Angola and Zambia) was recorded, as well as a 50 percent rise in the number of affected people within the DRC. In Burundi, the number of displaced and regrouped people declined by over 45 percent, while in Rwanda the number of displaced dropped sharply from an estimated 40,000 to 6,340 as a result of the government’s resettlement programme. Ongoing violence in the DRC has severely curtailed access to the displaced by the humanitarian community. However, positive developments were witnessed in the Republic of Congo, the report stated. An estimated 810,000 displaced people returned to their homes of origin and the cessation of hostilities in the country enabled further humanitarian work to go ahead. Also in Uganda, the number of displaced people has decreased mainly due to improved security conditions in the west and the return of some people displaced by earlier fighting in the eastern Karamoja district. [Full report available at: http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf]