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25-05-2021 | Edited News

Volcano Eruption DRC - UNHCR

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  1. Exterior wide shot, Palais des Nations flag alley, nations’ flags flying, a cloudy day. 
  2. Wide shot, podium with speakers in a near-empty Room XIV in line with COVID-19 distancing measures, Palais des Nations. 
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) — Boris Cheshirkov, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “According to authorities, 32 people died in incidents linked to the eruption, including seven people killed by lava and five asphyxiated by gases. Led by the Red Cross, a significant effort is underway to reunite several hundred children who were separated from their families as they fled.”  
  4. Medium wide shot, cameraman standing next to UNTV camera, Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) — Boris Cheshirkov, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): Two villages on Goma’s northern tip were destroyed and two others were almost completely covered by lava. Our staff have heard testimonies from families who lost their homes, and from others who lost children and other loved onesEntire neighborhoods have been left without any electricity and there are fears of water shortages.”  
  6. Wide shot, attendees sitting in Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) — Boris Cheshirkov, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):  “The road leading to northern parts of North Kivu province is also damaged by lava, which will hamper the transport of food and goods to the area around Beni, where some 280,000 people displaced by conflict and insecurity since January 2021 rely on humanitarian aid.”  
  8. Medium wide shot, attendee using listening device and attendee typing on phone, Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) — Boris Cheshirkov, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): Funding is urgently needed to help us assist those affected. UNHCR has received just 17 per cent of the US$204.8 million needed for our operations in the DRC. This latest disaster comes on top of the over 2 million people already displaced by brutal violence in North Kivu province, of which Goma is the capital. This year alone, 450,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.”  
  10. Medium wide shot, attendee typing on laptop in foreground and UNTV cameras to rear, Room XIV, Palais des Nations 
  11. Wide shot, podium with speakers to rear, Room XIV, Palais des Nations. 

At least 31 dead and thousands displaced after volcano eruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN Refugee Agency says

Hundreds of children are feared to be missing and thousands of people fled their homes after Mount Nyiragongo volcano erupted 12 km north of the town Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 22 May.

Speaking to journalists at the United Nations in Geneva, Boris Cheshirkov, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said that “according to authorities, 32 people died in incidents linked to the eruption, including seven people killed by lava and five asphyxiated by gases”. Cheshirkov added that “led by the Red Cross, a significant effort is underway to reunite several hundred children who were separated from their families as they fled”.

The lava flow stopped on Sunday, but there have been repeated earthquakes since the eruption. The Mount Nyiragongo volcano, among the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes, last erupted in 2002, killing 250 people and making more than 100,000 homeless.

Following a joint evaluation together with the government of the DRC and other humanitarian agencies to assess the damage on Sunday, UNHCR said that the volcano’s destruction path has been seen clearly.

“Two villages on Goma’s northern tip were destroyed and two others were almost completely covered by lava”, Mr. Cheshirkov said. “Our staff have heard testimonies from families who lost their homes, and from others who lost children and other loved ones. Entire neighborhoods have been left without any electricity and there are fears of water shortages”.

UNICEF reported that more than 150 children have been separated from their families amid the chaos and more than 170 children are feared to be missing. With water and electricity shortages, the children’s agency fears the risk of spreading cholera.

Another challenge is the destruction of the road which has led to the disruption of transportation of goods.

“The road leading to northern parts of North Kivu province is also damaged by lava, which will hamper the transport of food and goods to the area around Beni, where some 280,000 people displaced by conflict and insecurity since January 2021 rely on humanitarian aid”, UNHCR’s spokesperson said.

UNHCR is preparing to assist those in need of shelter and relef items in the Goma area in coordination with other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, and in support of the government’s emergency response.

Mr. Cheshirkov stressed that “funding is urgently needed to help us assist those affected. UNHCR has received just 17 per cent of the US$204.8 million needed for our operations in the DRC”. UNHCR’s spokesperson added that “this latest disaster comes on top of the over 2 million people already displaced by brutal violence in North Kivu province, of which Goma is the capital. This year alone, 450,000 people have been forced to flee their homes”.

 

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