|Internally Displaced People in a camp in North Kivu. Photo: Nabil Elderkin|
Despite its vast potential wealth, the DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world. Years of conflict have created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
Displaced: the Invisible Victims of Conflict in DRC
The powerful exhibition, “Displaced: the Invisible Victims of Conflict in DRC,” showing at the UN in New York, portrays the extraordinary resilience of internally displaced people (IDPs) in North Kivu Province where 425,000 civilians have been uprooted from their homes over the past year. The haunting pictures of IDPs living in North Kivu’s squalid camps and informal settlements are a stark reminder of why strong, continued support by the international community remains necessary now and into the foreseeable future.
|For many displaced people, leaving their homes and fields means losing the only living they know. The burden of providing for the family in this new situation often falls to the women. Photo: Nabil Elderkin||Ongoing insecurity keeps over a million Congolese IDPs from returning home and rebuilding their lives. Photo: Nabil Elderkin|
“These vivid photos put faces to the mind-boggling statistics of conflict in DRC. Over the past decade, more than 4 million people have died in the country in a series of vicious wars. Over 1.3 million are still unable to return home. It is impossible to mentally visualize such staggering levels of suffering. That is the power of this exhibition: it humanizes the conflict,” said Greg Puley, Head of Oxfam International’s New York office.
Celebrity photographer Nabil Elderkin, whose clients include musicians the Black Eyed Peas and John Legend, donated the photographs to Oxfam International. The exhibit marks Mr. Elderkin’s official debut as a humanitarian photographer, placing him on par with some of the world’s top photojournalists who work in conflict zones.
“I was overwhelmed by meeting such courageous people in eastern DRC who still live with incredible dignity even after the unthinkable horrors they have experienced. Before traveling to North Kivu with Oxfam, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the tragedy that I witnessed. It was truly humbling to meet families are doing everything they can to make their lives better in the face of constant threat of violence, disease and hunger,” said Mr. Elderkin.