Despite the January peace agreement between rebel and government forces, fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo has grown steadily worse this year, and in August the cease-fire officially crumbled. By late October, about a million people had been forced to flee their homes. Roughly a quarter of them have ended up in refugee camps, where the threat of disease may be almost as dangerous as the violence they were trying to escape. Health authorities fear crowding and a shortage of safe drinking water could cause a cholera epidemic. Already, since the beginning of October, a thousand people have contracted the life-threatening disease, adding urgency to the ceasefire talks scheduled to begin in December.