High Level Goma Meeting Seeks to Address Humanitarian Crises in North Kivu

The conflict between the government forces (FARDC) and rebel group M23 in North Kivu, has worsened dramatically since November 2023. Over a million people have been displaced on top of the already existing displacement crisis. This surge in displacement comes on top of the 2.4 million people already displaced within the province, creating a strain on humanitarian plans and interventions.

Fighting has intensified, with heavy weapons used in populated areas, leading to civilian casualties and damaged infrastructure. People are fleeing their homes again, healthcare is disrupted, and essential services are inaccessible due to blocked roads.

In March 2024, iMMAP Inc. officially joined the Forum of International NGOs in the DRC (FONGI-RDC) . The forum has over 124 member INGOs and functions as a body to empower its members through collaboration, information sharing, and advocacy efforts. The forum strengthens members' capacity to tackle shared challenges, optimize resources, and deliver impactful humanitarian aid. It also supports and promotes the development and peacebuilding efforts across the DRC.  

On April 18th, 2024 iMMAP Inc. was invited to a high-level UN-led meeting in Goma convened to address the escalating humanitarian crisis displacing thousands in the country. The delegation consisted of ambassadors from various countries including European Union, representatives from the United Nations and several international organizations, and the Congolese government.

The meeting in Goma on 18 April 2024 to discuss North Kivu situation. (iMMAP Inc./2024)

"Being part of a recognized forum like FONGI-RDC also fosters transparency and accountability in our operations. Ultimately, these benefits allow iMMAP Inc. to work more efficiently and collaboratively within the existing humanitarian framework of the DRC, ensuring our efforts have the greatest possible impact on the lives of those in need. Membership in the Forum of International NGOs in the DRC (FONGI-RDC) is crucial for iMMAP Inc.'s ability to effectively deliver humanitarian assistance. Through FONGI-RDC, we gain access to a wealth of information critical for operating within the DRC. This includes vital updates on donor priorities, regulations set by the local government, and established communication channels with both donors and national authorities." Abdoulkader Elmi Elabe, the iMMAP Inc. Project Manager in DRC

DRC in ‘tipping point’

Following the Goma meeting, FONGI-RDC issued a joint communiqué on 19 April 2024, drawing the attention to “the alarming deterioration in the humanitarian situation in eastern DRC” and called for immediate international action. 

 The rapidly worsening situation in the North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces uncovered a troubling new trend. Armed groups are increasingly operating within displacement camps, transforming these once-safe havens into zones of violence and fear. The presence of these armed groups in the camps not only endangers civilians but also severely hampers the efforts of aid organizations to deliver essential humanitarian assistance. 

Making the situation even more desperate, access to essential supplies and services for those in affected areas is rapidly dwindling. Blocked roads and ongoing fighting in conflict zones create significant hurdles, and in some cases, render it completely impossible for aid organizations to reach the most vulnerable populations.  

"We are at a critical tipping point. A strong and immediate international mobilization is needed to prevent a humanitarian tragedy on a much larger scale,” said Luc Lamprière, the Director of the Forum of FONGI-DRC. 

Lamprière also underscores the importance for the international diplomatic community to uphold the commitments made in various peace processes, highlighting the crucial role of diplomacy in resolving the conflict and paving the way for a sustainable peace.  

 Amidst this urgency, iMMAP Inc. has recently joined the Forum, bringing valuable expertise in information management to enhance coordination and response efforts. 

"The International NGO Forum in DRC is delighted that iMMAP Inc. is joining our community of organizations devoted to humanitarian action, development and peace in the DRC. For the Forum, counting a new member with information management skills to the level of iMMAP Inc. is an asset that will benefit all our members. And we are looking forward to benefit from the support of iMMAP Inc. to strengthen our collective efforts to present to our partners high level, timely, relevant, and reliable information, and data-supported evidence of the difficult context in which our members and their partners work in DRC and how INGOs can make a positive difference to the lives of people in DRC. This has been the case already, as, within days of joining the Forum iMMAP Inc. helped us realize a critical up-to-date mapping of INGO activities in South Kivu ahead of the withdrawal of UN peacekeeping forces (MONUSCO) from the province. "Luc Lamprière, FONG-RDC Director.

North Kivu Situation Analysis Report

Recently, iMMAP Inc. published a Situation Analysis Report on North Kivu (February 2024) detailing the alarming deterioration in humanitarian situation that has triggered “crisis within a crisis” impacting the health cluster in the region.

The conflict has created a critical health crisis for displaced people and isolated communities. Measles and cholera cases are particularly concerning, especially in areas hosting displaced populations.