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European Commission


Brussels, 4 March 2014

Examples of EU cooperation with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Democratic Republic of Congo

A €40 million EU-funded programme to help the country attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was recently launched. It focuses on decreasing mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission, preventing gender-based violence, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. The EU has supported the health sector in the DRC since the 1990s, both through humanitarian support in times of crises and structural support to improve the administration of national and provincial healthcare systems. By 2012, this had led to a 50% reduction in the cost of healthcare as well as an improvement in the quality of services for 3 million people.

Up to a half a million women and children below the age of five will benefit from less expensive health services and better quality treatment in the provinces of North Kivu, Oriental Province, Kasaï-Occidental and Kasaï-Oriental as a result of this programme. Over a period of three years, the programme will cover 70% of the medical costs for the women and under-aged children and 100% for the poorest among these beneficiaries.

250 health centres will receive additional essential medicines and better equipment to treat patients. Food complements (such as high-energy and protein products) in order to recover from malnutrition, specific services for victims of sexual violence and access to contraception and medicines that avoid mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, will all be made available in these health centres. There will also be new storage equipment for vaccines.

Security sector reform: The national Congolese police (PNC) faces a double challenge: on the one hand, to fulfil its traditional mission of ensuring the security of the population, on the other hand, to reform and restructure itself. EU funding allowed for the identification and registration of 95,000 agents of the PNC. After the identification process, biometric identity cards were distributed to the agents, which greatly reduces the risk of fraud.

The EU is equally operating a civilian police mission in DRC (EUPOL) with international staff of 40 people from the civilian sector as well as that of the police. Its purpose is to contribute to the restructuring of the Congolese police by supporting the establishment of a civilian and professional police force that respects human rights and works in cooperation with civil society. Among other elements, EUPOL provides strategic advice and has been supporting the PNC in areas such as policing for the 2011 elections and the fight against sexual violence.

Together, the programmes of the Commission and EUPOL helped initiate the following decisions of the Congolese authorities, among other things: the creation of a bank roll for police salaries; the recruitment of 6,000 police agents of the PNC; the creation of offices of the general inspectorate of the national police in all provinces; the launch of a five year action plan; the modernisation of human resources management of the PNC.

The EU has allocated €160 million to the governance and rule of law focal sector for 2014-2020. Activities will focus on justice and support to the reform of the police and the army. This will help preserving the achievements of EUPOL as well as of a mission to provide advice and assistance for security sector reform (EUSEC), which will both end in September 2014.

Infrastructure reconstruction and increasing security in the Virunga National Park, together with a training programme for rangers and park managers, has supported the resumption of touristic activity in the eastern part of the DRC. Tourism in the Virunga Park has produced more than $1million in revenues, and has already created job opportunities and boosted economic activity. 30% of the income generated by the park's activities is allocated to community development programmes, benefiting neigbouring local communities.

Road infrastructure, sanitation and waste collection: A programme on road maintenance and urban sanitation established a rain water collection system and a waste collection system in nine districts of Kinshasa, benefiting a population of about 1.5 million people. A second component was the rehabilitation of some 3,000 km of roads, mainly in the provinces of Bandundu, Equateur and Kasai. In parallel, the rehabilitation of the Route Nationale 1, which is carried out in coordination with other donors (and for which the EU will provide a further €150 million 2014-2020), as well as improved security and navigability of the Congo river, have helped to significantly improve transport in the DRC in general.


The main share of EU funding to Rwanda is delivered in the form of budget support, i.e. funds provided directly to the finance ministry for use in government budgets to pursue agreed policy priorities. With EU support, Rwanda is on course to achieve five of the eight Millennium Development Goals, namely universal primary education, gender equality and women empowerment, reducing maternal and child mortality rates, and combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The poverty rate dropped from 57% to 45% from 2006 to 2011 and extreme poverty decreased from 35.8% to 24.1% over the same period.

Rural development has been a focus of EU support. The EU's recently approved €30 million nutrition budget support programme will help efforts to reduce the prevalence of chronic malnutrition in children aged under five years, which at 44% is still high. At the same time the EU is designing a new programme under the 11th EDF (€60 million) to support the food and nutrition security of vulnerable households at particular risk from hunger and poverty.

Under Rwanda’s agriculture strategy 2009-2012, food production and food marketing were substantially increased, helping to drive poverty rates down. The crop intensification and land use consolidation programmes, along with subsidisation of fertilizers, improved seeds, and land development, have been crucial contributors to the expansion of Rwanda's food crop production.

For more information:

IP/14/204: Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announces new EU support for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

Website of the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs:

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