1. Emergency Situation
Anomalous weather conditions in the DROC have caused the Congo River to rise, resulting in widespread damage throughout the country. In the capital of Kinshasa, a city of some 7 million, one district where 2 million people live has experienced widespread damage or flooding of homes. Already at least 500,000 people have been affected. Rains are expected to continue falling until the middle of January, raising the probability of more extensive flood damage. The living conditions of the flood victims are deteriorating as outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and malaria are being reported, and there are insufficient sanitation facilities, drinking water, electricity and medical supplies.
2. Response of the Congolese Government
The Congolese Minister of Public Health called together representatives from diplomatic missions, United Nations agencies, and NGOs working in the humanitarian field to make an appeal to the international community for support in dealing with the floods in Kinshasa. In addition to establishing the "Kinshasa Flood Emergency Response Committee", the government drew up a list of necessary relief supplies while issuing an emergency request for assistance (it is estimated that $17.58 million will be needed to procure the items on the list). The government has also established 20 refugee centers with a capacity of 45,000 people.
3. Response of the International Community
(1) United States: $250,000 in
aid; long-term assistance is currently under consideration
(2) Belgium: provision of 36 tons of flour, 5 tons of medical supplies, sanitary supplies
(3) EU: currently consideration provision of tents, blankets, sanitary supplies, etc.
(4) Italy: $90,000 in emergency relief in addition to food relief
(5) Canada: donation of $50,000
4. Response of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the request from the Congolese government, and after consultations with the Ministry of Finance, authorized provision of the following items through JICA:
Breakdown of supplies (from the JICA
warehouse in the United States)
blankets : 60
water tanks : 1,920
soap (15 bars to a pack) : 360 packs
sleeping mats : 240
plastic sheeting (rolls) : 44
(procured from UNICEF)
Medical supplies/equipment sets : 6 sets
Estimated cost of relief supplies: approx. \23 million
Transport schedule: arrangements are being made for transport to Kinshasa on the earliest possible flight.
5. Additional Remarks
As of 1995 the GNP per person in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was $120 (current figures are unavailable).
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