Gugu Mbatha-Raw Says 'Urgent Funding' Is Needed for Millions Displaced in Democratic Republic of the Congo
·2 min read
Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw is requesting "urgent support" for millions people who've been displaced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after visiting the Central African country last week.
The Surface star, 39, says "urgent funding" is needed to address the pressing needs of the country's displaced population, according to a press release from UNHCR, the United Nations' Refugee Agency.
Mbatha-Raw, who serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, says she is "extremely concerned" after connecting with those displaced by conflict, cost of living, climate change, and other crises unfolding in the DRC.
Many people, she adds, "don't have enough shelter, food or clean water to survive."
"First, they were forced to flee unimaginable violence, and now, due to severe underfunding and shrinking life-saving assistance, they are forced to make impossible choices that no one should have to make," Mbatha-Raw says.
"As the situation worsens, women and girls are also at greater risk of violence," she continues. "We cannot allow this to continue."
During her DRC trip, Mbatha-Raw was able to witness many of the hardships facing the country's displaced population. During her visit, the Loki star met with a woman named Vicky, who has been displaced and is regularly forced to make tough choices such as whether food or medicine is more important, according to the press release.
Mbatha-Raw also got a chance to see the help currently being offered to people of the DRC. At one point, the actress visited with women and girls who survived sexual violence to learn how systems set up to support them "were enabling them to rebuild their lives," per Tuesday's release.
But there is still much more aid that can be provided to the DRC, according to the U.N.
A recent UNHCR report states that funding for "lifesaving" programs in the DRC and other countries "is not matching the growing needs" of the people, according Tuesday's release.
Only 42% of the $225 million required to support programs for displaced people in the DRC has been funded, per the report.
Now, Mbatha-Raw is calling on international governments, the private sector and others "to meet the most pressing needs of those displaced" in the DRC.
"In the same way that the world has shown solidarity and compassion to those displaced by other crises, including the war in Ukraine, we must now unite to support those in the DRC and other underfunded emergencies," Mbatha-Raw said.
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