The European Commission has announced today €49.5 million in emergency assistance to help address the worsening humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A further €10.9 million will go to neighbouring countries, namely Tanzania, Rwanda and the Republic of Congo mainly to support Congolese refugees.
The announcement comes as Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, is on an official visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit EU aid projects in North and South Kivu and meet with government officials in Kinshasa to discuss, among others, the obstacles to humanitarian access in the country and the worrying number of attacks against humanitarian workers.
"The humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo are mounting. It has become the largest displacement crisis in Africa. The EU is stepping up its support with new funding to provide emergency food and water supplies, shelter and education for children, as well as health assistance against epidemics. There is no time to lose to help those most in need. It is now critical that all donors step up their support to the people of DRC. At the same time, I ask the DRC authorities to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and facilitate humanitarian access throughout the country, so that assistance can reach all people in need.", said Commissioner Stylianides.
During his visit, the Commissioner visited the EU funded Panzi hospital run by the 2014 Sakharov Prize laureate Dr D. Mukwege in Bukavu and the Ndosho hospital in Goma.
Out of a total of €49.5 million for DRC, €42.3 million will primarily address the basic needs of the population affected by the crisis in the country, where overall humanitarian crisis have left over 13 million people in need of urgent assistance. The remaining €7.2 million will support the EU's humanitarian flight (''ECHO flight'') service in throughout 2018 that delivers essential supplies.
Commissioner Stylianides, on behalf of the European Union, will co-chair a humanitarian donors' conference on the Democratic Republic of Congo in Geneva on 13 April 2018. The other co-chairs are the United Nations and its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.
The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in the DRC. According to the United Nations 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, 16.6 million people are affected by the crisis, with 13.1 million people in need of assistance. Over 5.1 million people are displaced - 4.49 million are internally displaced persons and approximately 630 000 have fled to neighbouring countries.
ECHO Flight, which is opening up humanitarian access in the provinces of North and South Kivu, Tanganyika and Kasai, is a dedicated air service that the Commission provides to humanitarian partner organisations.
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