Bunia, located in the Ituri District of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is an area that has been the center for the multidimensional inter-ethnic confrontations ravaging the region since 1999. The peak of violence was in May of 2003 when, upon the withdrawal of Ugandan troops, a confrontation between two parties representing main warring ethnic tribes resulted in the death and displacement of thousands of civilians.
A makeshift emergency hospital was set up by MSF-Switzerland in May 2003. As much as 70% of the surgical cases seen in 2003 were related to violence, mainly caused by firearms and machetes. Despite the deployment of international peace keeping force and various peace dialogs and signatures, Bunia remains one of the most volatile areas of eastern Congo. The program for providing care for victims of sexual and gender based violence was started as part of the emergency response in Bunia.