Monitoring needs as Goma falls

DR Congo, November 21, 2012

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  <span class="field-credit">
    REUTERS/James Akena, courtesy - AlertNet  </span>
    Internally Displaced People (IDP) walk through Mugunga camp, which hosts 45,000 IDPs, near Goma November 21, 2012. Foreign ministers from nine African countries on Wednesday urged other nations on the continent to contribute troops to an international force to fight rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo's turbulent east, a Ugandan government spokesman said. The plea - which comes at a time when the M23 rebels appear to have the Congolese army on the backfoot - was signed by Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Congo Republic and Zambia. Photo: REUTERS/James Akena, courtesy - AlertNet

Mercy Corps is monitoring humanitarian needs as the situation unfolds in eastern Congo, where rebel forces have taken control of Goma, the capital of Congo's war-torn North Kivu province.

Members of the M23 rebel group took Goma on Tuesday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee the city and its outskirts.

Mercy Corps has been working from Goma since 2007 to support vulnerable families by promoting sustainable livelihoods, food security, and good governance. We've been working with partners to rehabilitate Goma's municipal water network since 2008, and working throughout the province to provide access to water and sanitation services in displacement camps.

These displaced families — the numbers of which are growing — urgently require a range of basic services, including water and sanitation, food assistance, essential household items and protection measures.

Mercy Corps has prioritized the safety of our staff, and we have evacuated some team members to neighboring Rwanda. We will continue to closely monitor this volatile and fluid situation.