Magazine article UN Chronicle

Republic of the Congo

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Republic of the Congo

Article excerpt

The deteriorating health situation in the Republic of the Congo has worsened since last year's five-month civil war, which displaced many people from the capital, Brazzaville, to Pointe Noire.

On 16 January, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) began an emergency vaccination campaign in Brazzaville and its surroundings to contain a measles epidemic. The cost of the six-week programme, aimed at immunizing some 250,000 children against the disease, was $182,000.

On 4 February, UNICEF dispatched emergency medical supplies to cholera-stricken Pointe Noire, with additional supplies being sent from Brazzaville. As of 27 January, 445 cases of cholera and 83 deaths had been reported. UNICEF also organized sanitation and hygiene awareness activities aimed at the local population to prevent any further spread of the disease.

UNICEF said that the United Nations agencies' capacity to address the humanitarian needs in the war-affected areas of the country was severely hindered by the insufficient donor response to the United Nations inter-agency appeal. As of the end of January, UNICEF had received only 22 per cent of the funds it had requested.

On 6 February, an advance team of the Secretary-General's investigative team probing violations of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the campaign against former President Mobuto Seseko returned to Mbandaka to re-establish a camp dismantled there in December 1997. …

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