GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Humanitarian leaders say more money and time is needed to help people displaced by fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United Nations says 2.4 million people have been displaced due to fighting between government forces, backed by U.N. peacekeepers, and a militia group once loyal to the government.
John Ging, director of operations for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the international effort to address the situation lacks the necessary funding to help civilians caught up in the fighting. The U.N. sought to raise $791 million toward the effort but so far the international community has donated $429 million, U.N. News said Monday.
"More funding is urgently and desperately needed," he stressed.
Rebels who split from the government in April have increased their fighting and are contributing to a humanitarian crisis that includes an estimated 1 million children younger than 5 with severe acute malnutrition.
"It is crucial that we continue to step up our interventions and protect people," Ging said. "We need a larger humanitarian response."