Brussels, 26 June 2012
Statement by Commissioner Georgieva on the worsening humanitarian situation in the DRC
In view of the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Kristalina Georgieva has expressed her serious concern: "What is happening today, particularly in North Kivu, must come to an end. Populations are being taken hostage and are paying a heavy price because of the fighting between armed groups and the regular Congolese army. Innocent people are being killed, raped and forced to flee their homes. The humanitarian community has reached the absolute limit of its ability to respond to the needs of the people. I therefore strongly appeal to the various armed groups to stop the fighting, spare civilian populations and ensure access for humanitarian workers."
The humanitarian situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Eastern provinces of the DRC is increasingly worrisome. Since 1 April 2012 over 220,000 people have been newly displaced in North Kivu, fleeing to save their lives. 250 Congolese are arriving every day in Rwanda and Uganda. More than 12,000 refugees have already settled in camps in Rwanda which are now way beyond their limits in terms of capacity.
There are now more than 1.4 million IDPs in Eastern DRC, while the total number of IDPs in the country exceeds 2 million. These people have been forced to leave their homes and livelihoods by the ongoing conflicts and are in dire need of humanitarian aid in order to survive. In the last three months over 300 people have been killed in a horrific manner by various armed groups. Several hundred women have suffered dreadful sexual violence.
The European Commission through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department ECHO has contributed EUR 63 million in 2012 to assist populations affected by conflict in the DRC. The European Commission calls on all humanitarian and development donors to devote more resources to helping the people affected by the ongoing conflict in DRC.