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reliefweb - 14 days ago

DR Congo: Security and access in the DRC: implementing an acceptance strategy in the Ebola response

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo Source: ODI - Humanitarian Practice Network by Adelicia Fairbanks Responders to the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) face tremendous challenges in halting the spread of infection, not the least of which is insecurity. Insecurity Insight reports that, between January and November 2019, there were more than 400 attacks against response actors, including threats, abductions and arson. Since January 2019, at least 20 health workers have been killed. According to the UN, the majority of security incidents affecting Ebola responders were linked to armed conflict, community resistance and civil unrest. Organised attacks, deteriorating security and increased distrust of response actors by local community members have in the past coincided with a rise in Ebola cases and increased transmission in the DRC. In this context, response actors must implement effective humanitarian security risk management measures to protect themselves, as well as to effectively respond to the epidemic. However, strategic security risk management approaches appear to be largely absent from the response, in part due to a failure by leading response agencies to recognise the DRC as a complex humanitarian emergency, as well as a public health crisis. This article looks at the implications of this narrow approach and the security challenges response actors face in the DRC, and aims to demonstrate how a humanitarian security risk management approach that focuses on the prevention of security incidents through the adoption of an acceptance security strategy can improve the security and access of responding agencies. It draws on existing literature, as well as interviews with actors involved in the response. Read the full report here


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