UNICEF on Friday warned of the threat of cholera facing tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We are really concerned about an epidemic of cholera and measles," UNICEF spokesman Jaya Murthy said in Goma, the eastern city besieged by internal refugees who fled heavy clashes in Nord-Kivu province between government forces and rebels.
"We are waiting for a consignment of sanitary and water treatment material as well as pumps sent by UNICEF in Rwanda," Murthy told AFP by telephone.
He said the United Nation Children's Fund would distribute medicine and high-protein biscuits to around 24,000 people at Kibati camp north of Goma later Friday, amid fears of an increase in the rate of malnutrition.
"The biscuits we are distributing will only feed 6,000 children while in the camps, churches and schools there are between 40,000 and 50,000 displaced people gathered in Goma and Kibati.
The agency has set up "listening posts for family searches" so children can be reunited with parents from whom they became separated while fleeing the fighting.
It was distributing aid kits including a blanket, soap and sheeting for shelter.