Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., today announced €3.8 million in funding for UN agencies and NGOs to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The funding will provide emergency food, water, healthcare and protection to millions of vulnerable people who are caught up in the long-running conflict, which has claimed millions of lives.
Announcing the funding today, Minister Costello said:
“After decades of war and mismanagement, DRC faces enormous humanitarian needs. More than 7 million people have died since 1998 as a result of the conflict, making it the world’s deadliest since the Second World War.
“Armed conflict, violence against civilians and the forced recruitment of children into armed groups continue in large areas of the eastern Congo. The latest bout of fighting between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese army has increased the pressure on an extremely vulnerable population. The UN estimates that about 2.7 million people in DRC have been forced to flee their homes.
“On International Women’s Day it is important to highlight that DRC is blighted by one of the highest levels of sexual violence in the world. This is one of the worst places in the globe to be born a woman.”
Minister Costello today allocated €2 million to a UN-managed fund, which will enable aid organizations to reach nearly four million people with food, water, shelter, healthcare and education this year.
The remaining €1.8 million is being provided to NGO partners Christian Aid (€450,000), Concern (€450,000), Trócaire (€300,000) and Oxfam (€580,000) to provide emergency food, water, health and protection to the most vulnerable people.
Minister Costello said Ireland was committed to supporting the people of DRC to rebuild their lives.
“I am glad to say that there has been progress in efforts to find a solution to the crisis and I welcome the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement for the DRC and the Region signed in Ethiopia last month. This important agreement was reached by the Government of the DRC and ten neighbouring and regional countries. However, we recognise that it represents the start of the process rather than the end.
“Over the course of our EU Presidency, Ireland will shine a light on the terrible abuses taking place in DRC and the enormous needs of the people, who have endured unimaginable suffering and loss of life for many years. We will continue to advocate for all those vulnerable populations caught up in long-running conflicts, which are too often forgotten.”