Gugu Mbatha-Raw calls for support to help displaced people in DR Congo

Gugu Mbatha-Raw has called for support for millions of displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The 'Loki' actress, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, visited the African country last week and met with displaced individuals and families – who are experiencing hardship due to a mixture of conflict, increased living costs and a lack of support from the international community.
Gugu met a woman called Vicky while visiting the province of South Kivu and was informed that she has to make unbearable decisions, including whether to prioritise food or medicine, whilst being unable to send all of her children to school.
She said: "I'm extremely concerned.
"Away from the headlines, millions of displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are struggling 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.
"As the situation worsens women and girls are also at greater risk of violence. We cannot allow this to continue."
During her time in the DRC, Gugu visited programmes by UNHCR and partners that focus on providing shelter and essential items such as mats, blankets and sanitary products for women.
She also met internally displaced women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence to learn how they are being supported to rebuild their lives.
In her role as a Goodwill Ambassador, Gugu is urging governments, the private sector and individuals to provide urgent funding to UNHCR to meet the desperate needs of those affected by Africa's largest displacement crisis.
The 39-year-old actress said: "In the Democratic Republic of Congo, as in many forgotten emergencies around the world, displaced families don't have enough shelter, food or clean water to survive.
"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."