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STATEMENT: Dozens Reported Killed and Injured in DRC Displacement Camp Amid Shell Explosions

KINSHASA, (May 03, 2024) –  Shells hit a displacement camp in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today, prompting aid workers to temporarily evacuate and resulting in up to 40 reported deaths and many others injured, with children among the casualties, Save the Children said.  

Save the Children, along with a local NGO partner, was present at the Lushagala camp this morning for the distribution of hygiene kits when a shell exploded approximately 30 metres ahead of their vehicle. The shell detonated near a bustling market within the overcrowded displacement camp outside of Goma.  

Community reports suggest about 40 people have been killed, with many others injured, although Save the Children has not been able to independently verify this number. All of Save the Children's staff and its local partners are accounted for.  

Greg Ramm, Country Director for Save the Children in the DRC, said:

"The reports from the camp are horrifying. Dozens of civilians have been injured, and some have lost limbs.  Most of those injured are women and children.  Some of our staff and partner staff were briefly trapped inside the camp before quickly getting out to safety. However, thousands of children and families living in the camps do not have the same privilege of being able to leave for somewhere safer. A tent does not offer much protection from shelling.

"What happened today is another grim reminder that the DRC continues to be one of the most dangerous places to be a child, and children and the most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of this crisis.  

"Protection of civilians, especially children and families living in displacement camps, must be prioritized, and support must be scaled up. More needs to be done, now, to reduce the use of these devastating weapons, especially so close to where children and their families are sheltering for safety. Save the Children is calling for all parties to the conflict to end the use of explosive weapons in the proximity of populated areas and ensure aid workers have immediate, sustained and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief to reach those who need it most."

Save the Children started working in the DRC in 1994 to meet humanitarian needs linked to the arrival of refugees and the displacement of populations due to armed conflict in eastern provinces. Save the Children has scaled up its humanitarian response to support existing care systems, training local leaders and communities to prevent and respond to exploitation and abuse, and ensuring access to healthcare through mobile clinics. It is also helping children access basic education by building classrooms, training teachers, and distributing learning materials. 


Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our results, financial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.