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Australia supports vulnerable in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

November 29, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced an additional $5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to help those fleeing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Senator Carr said the funding is in response to recent violence in and around Goma in the DRC.

“Conflict between the M23 rebel group and the National Army has triggered an upsurge in displaced people,” Senator Carr said.

“There are now 2.4 million internally displaced people across the country.

“There has been widespread abuse of civilians including murder, rape and the forced recruitment of children by armed groups.

“Australia’s funding will help support an expected 400,000 internally displaced people by providing 1,000 shelter kits and water and sanitation services to vulnerable people in North Kivu and Province Orientale in the north-west of the country.

“Our support will also improve the safety of those most at risk, such as women and children, by supporting protection initiatives that combat sexual and gender-based violence.

“The UNHCR is one of Australia’s key partners for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

“We are proud to support UNHCR’s work in delivering assistance to more than 33 million people most in need around the world.

“Last year, Australia helped UNHCR to support more than 740,000 people in desperate need in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar and Somalia.”

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