Kristalina Georgieva and her colleague, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, today met Dr Denis Mukwege, the founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hospital cares for victims of rape – a crime that affects hundreds of thousands of women in the DRC every year.
Dr Mukwege is in Brussels following a brutal attack against him on 25 October, in which he was almost killed. A member of his staff lost his life in the incident.
Commissioner Georgieva voiced her relief at Dr Mukwege's survival, her sadness over the loss of his rescuer’s life, and her concern that this attack worsens an already desperate humanitarian situation. She commended him on the important work he and his staff are doing at the Panzi Hospital. The Commissioner expressed her commitment to supporting the work of the Panzi Hospital, which she visited during her trip to the DRC earlier this year. The European Commission has been helping the important work carried out by this hospital since 2004, with close to €5 million in humanitarian aid.
Dr Mukwege intends to return to the hospital and continue to save the lives and restore the dignity of the thousands of Congolese women who need emergency medical care after falling victim to rape.