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The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo caused 3.9 million deaths between 1998 and 2004, most from preventable causes such as fever, malaria, respiratory infections, and malnutrition, according to a study led by the International Rescue Committee and published in the January 7 issue of the Lancet. The study characterizes the international response as "grossly inadequate," with intense violence, massive population displacement, and a breakdown of the public health system continuing to make possible the world's deadliest humanitarian crisis.


The photo at right shows United Nations physicians treating refugees in flight from fierce fighting and massacres in Che, Ituri province, Democratic Republic of Congo.

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