As the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to escalate, limited funds have crippled the humanitarian response. This has left many affected populations without, or with limited, assistance, experts in the region say.

With some 4.5 million internally displaced people, the country has led the world in terms of the largest number of people that have been newly displaced for the past two years. Along with political instability at the national level, localized intercommunal clashes, and the rise of militias, endemic violence has forced many Congolese from their homes.

This week, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned of “a humanitarian disaster of extraordinary proportions” in southeastern DRC as the violence in the province of Tanganyika escalates. Humanitarian actors launched the largest ever funding appeal for the country this year, asking for $1.68 billion, to assist 10.5 million people. Only half of the $812.5 million that was appealed for last year was funded.

“The lack of sufficient funding is the biggest barrier to the humanitarian response in the Congo right now,” Gregory Queyranne, program coordinator for the Danish Refugee Council in DRC, told Devex. In October, the U.N. activated a ‘Level 3 emergency’ in the Kasai Region, Tanganyika, and South Kivu Provinces. This is the highest level of emergency from the agency.  The emergency declaration prompted an uptick in the allocation of funds, but the funding has largely been targeted at those specific regions.  Because of the evolving nature of the crisis and its fluid boundaries, all of the areas in the humanitarian response plan need to see increases in funding, not just the ones outlined in the emergency alert.

Read the full article about the funding needed for humanitarian aid in the DRC by Sara Jerving at Devex.