So far this year, the ICRC has evacuated 53 civilian field casualties, including 18 children, from areas in which fighting was taking place and arranged for them to be treated in hospitals in Bukavu. “Among those we evacuated were two small children who had been stabbed,” said Ms Courtois. “They had witnessed the violent death of their mother and had been abandoned next to her body.”
The unstable security environment is also hindering access to health care. “For the wounded, the ability to obtain care quickly often makes the difference between life and death,” said Ms Courtois. Because it is not unusual for medical facilities to lack the medicines and other resources needed to deal with emergencies, the ICRC is providing these supplies for facilities in the areas affected by the fighting.
Since the beginning of the year, with support from volunteers from the Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ICRC has attended to the needs of 44 children separated from their families, including children wounded in the fighting. Some have already been reunited with members of their families.
The ICRC is also maintaining its assistance for displaced people. For example, in Lwizi, Kabare territory, it is currently distributing food to over 3,200 people.