UNITED NATIONS, May 23 (Xinhua) -- With a continuing emergency response to the heavy rains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the official toll has reached 443 dead, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that hundreds of people were injured and many are missing from the early May rains that triggered deadly flooding and landslides. Rescuers and responders urgently call for heavy equipment to excavate and bury bodies, mainly in the Kalehe territory of eastern South Kivu province.
"Other top priorities are shelter and relocation of survivors, food assistance and fixing roads and bridges so we can reach people affected," OCHA said.
More than 3,000 houses and schools serving more than 9,000 children were damaged, the humanitarian office said.
At least 17,000 people received assistance since May 10, including food, health care, shelter and psychosocial support, OCHA said. Humanitarians provided more than 50,000 liters of clean water daily to affected communities.
The UN humanitarian coordinator in the DRC, Bruno Lemarquis, allocated 3 million U.S. dollars from the Humanitarian Fund to strengthen continuing operations, the humanitarian office said.