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WFP provides food to thousands displaced

June 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, June 8 (UPI) -- The U.N. World Food Program said it has provided a monthly food ration to 20,000 people newly displaced by violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The food aid released this week went to displaced people and host families in Beni in the eastern DRC, the organization said in a release.

"With the conflict escalating in the past few weeks, WFP has been providing lifesaving assistance to Congolese who were forced to leave everything behind," Stanlake Samkange, WFP regional director for east and central Africa. "But continued violence will lead to more people requiring help and it will be critical to ensure that WFP has sufficient resources to address the needs of the newly displaced."

The U.N. agency said tens of thousands of people have fled their homes and many have sought refuge near Goma, or elsewhere in the DRC, while thousands of others have crossed the borders of Rwanda and Uganda.

In April, rebel Gen. Bosco Ntaganda staged a mutiny in the DRC, accusing the government of violating terms of a 2009 peace agreement that brought his rebel forces into the military.

In the Congolese provinces of North and South Kivu, the WFP said it's providing emergency food assistance to more than 244,000 displaced people.

In the Great Lakes region, the WFP said, it's providing assistance to 532,000 Congolese refugees and internally displaced people.

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