7 million children under threat in the DRC: Brussels donor meeting has to focus on saving more lives
Monday, November 27 – With 7 million children affected by the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, now is the time for the EU and its Member States to step up their support. They need to go beyond pushing for elections and instead investing in addressing the needs of one of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
World Vision’s DRC Director Scott Lout said: “A massive humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in the Congo almost unnoticed. The scale and brutality of what is happening to children in hard to reach places in the DRC is almost unimaginable.”
Millions of children are now displaced by conflict, suffering extreme hunger and living in abject poverty and in fear of their lives. World Vision fears that former child soldiers will re-join armed groups and continue conflict without psycho-social support.
Pauline, 15, who attends a World Vision child safe space, told World Vision staff: “I knew some girls who joined the militia. They were my age, or even younger than me. They went off to battle to kill people and drink their blood.”
“Children, who have been demobilized, freed or have fled militias, must immediately benefit from programs that protect them from further harm and improve their physical, emotional and mental health” says Jonathan Beger, World Vision Brussels’ Director of EU Advocacy. “The Brussels donor meeting has to rapidly increase funding and focus aid on children and their communities to prevent a resurgence of ethnic and tribal violence, or we lose yet another Congolese generation.”