MSF continues assistance to 50,000 IDPs in Beni, DRC

MSF's project in Beni, DRC, has approximately 20 staff, mostly Congolese. The recent fighting brought the frontline of the war between the two factions further to the north, and closer to the town of Beni. MSF decided to evacuate part of the expatriate staff as a precautionary measure. Two expats remained behind to lead the operations: one team leader/medical coordinator, and one nurse.

MSF provides medical and non-medical aid to around 50,000 displaced people who fled from recent fighting in and around the town of Bunia, Ituri district, in the Oriental province. These people, who fled their houses with little time to pack things, trekked through the jungle for days with little or no food. Many report of having been terrorized by armed gangs along the way. Others are traumatized by the war and brutalities that they suffered under the hands of rebels of ethnic factions, or that they witnessed.

The displaced are concentrated on two locations on a road leading northward out of Beni: Oysha and Erengeti, as well as in Beni town itself.

Since their arrival in mid-May, MSF has been providing the displaced with medical care (around 150 consultations daily in Oysha), blankets and plastic sheeting, as well as food. MSF also vaccinated many of the displaced against measles, a dangerous infectious disease for people who are weakened by their flight through the bush.

In order to help setting up hygienic sanitation in these locations, MSF also assisted with the digging and building of latrine toilets. An MSF mobile clinic further provides medical services to around 370 displaced Congolese in Beni town.