At the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, our country allocates an additional 6 million euros to the alarming humanitarian situation in the DRC. The Minister made this announcement last Wednesdayin New York, at the occasion of a meeting with the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit and with UN humanitarian coordinator Mark Lowcock. Minister De Croo also askedthe international community to make more humanitarian resources available to the DRC.
These additional six million in humanitarian aid will go to humanitarian organisations that are active on the ground in the DRC: the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN refugee organisation (UNHCR) and the International Red Cross. With this additional humanitarian funding, Belgium allocates in total more than 14.5 million euros in humanitarian aid this year to the Congolese people. This effort comes on top of the fifty million euros Belgium contributes to the general budgets of these humanitarian organisations, part of which is also used in the DRC.
The internal conflict in the Kasai region and other parts of the DRC lead to massive population displacement, food insecurity and outbreaks of diseases such as cholera. This year, at least eight million Congolese are in need of humanitarian assistance: this is more than ten per cent of the population. The situation on the ground is getting out of hand. We can no longer sit by and watchrdquo; according to Alexander De Croo.
Nearly four million displaced:
The internal conflict which broke out last summer in Kasai Province has spread today to large parts of the DRC. The number of displaced persons rose last year to a record 3.8 million. In the Greater Kasai region alone, 1.4 million persons have been displaced. More than one million of them became displaced since early 2017; 800,000 of them are minors. This makes the situation in the Greater Kasai region currently the fastest-growing internal displacement situation in the world.
Humanitarian organisations realise that they need to increase their efforts, but the much needed attention and funding are lacking. The UN estimates the humanitarian needs at more than 800 million USD, but until now only a quarter of the funding has been found.
According to Alexander De Croo The lack of credible and inclusive elections contributes of course to the current climate of violence and lawlessness. By allocating additional humanitarian resources, I want to signal to the Congolese people that Belgium continues to care about their fate. We continue to follow up the situation closely and call upon the international community not to forget the Congolese people.rdquo;
Source:Kingdom of Belgium – Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.