United Nations relief coordinator Jan Egeland on Saturday (Sept. 3) urged the world to help the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as it experiences one of the world's worst humanitarian crises in recent years, comparing the loss of life to that in the December 2004 tsunami crisis. In an interview published in the Belgian daily Le Soir, Egeland lamented the world's "continuing disinterest" for the situation in the DRC, which is "experiencing perhaps the worst humanitarian crisis in the world for several years". "We estimate that a thousand lives are lost each day in Congo because of diseases that can be prevented ... There is a death toll in the Congo that is comparable to the tsunami every eight or nine months," Egeland said. The December 26 tsunami, spawned by a massive earthquake off Indonesia, struck countries around the Indian Ocean, killing an estimated 217 000 people. More than 2,5-million people are estimated to have died in a five-year civil war that ended in 2003, either directly in combat or indirectly through disease and hunger, according to the UN. But unrest has continued in the turbulent east of the country, with tens of thousands more believed to have been killed.