Ten percent of the children fleeing fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC claim to have been raped along the way.
In its new assessment Save the Children, says it interviewed 132 refugee children aged 10-17 about their protection and education needs and found that hunger was the biggest issue facing children fleeing DRC.
According to the assessment, sickness affected more than 1 in 2 children along the way, and a quarter of children interviewed said they were assaulted by armed groups as they fled.
Johnson Byamukama, Save the Children’s Emergency Response Director in Uganda, says the conflict in DRC is one of the world’s forgotten crises.
He says they see child refugees arriving in Uganda every day in desperate need and that every one of them has a horrific story to tell, including of rape, of parents being killed and witnessing extreme violence.
The assessment was part of the documentation submitted at the just concluded DRC pledging conference in Geneva.
The conference committed almost a third of the $1.68 billion needed to support the Humanitarian Response Plan.
Despite the enormous need, the crisis in DRC and the refugee response in Uganda remain seriously underfunded.