Between April 21 and May 5, increased violence in the Kasai Oriental region of the Democratic Republic of Congo forced more than 1 million people to flee their homes in search of safety. During heavy fighting, more than 125,000 people – roughly 8,000 a day – fled to safer areas of the country. Health and education facilities were destroyed, houses looted and burned, and families forced to flee into the bush, or to host communities.
Food production was affected by the displacements as the prevailing security concerns disrupted farming activities for the current agricultural season. Children were at risk of recruitment into militia groups, and gender-based violence.
Save the Children worked to reduce the vulnerability of crisis-affected people, especially women and children, by improving access to security and protection.
They supported the creation and operation of community level child protection networks and educated staff and community members on preventing and responding to sexual and gender based violence, including training for the provision of gender and age based psychosocial support, health care and legal assistance to survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
They raised awareness of the harmful effects of family separation and supported the identification of separated children, providing medical care if required, and helping trace their families.