According to the United Nations 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, 16.6 million people are affected by the crisis in the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), with 13.1 million people in need of assistance. Over 5.1 million people are displaced: 4.49 million are internally displaced and approximately 630 000 have fled to neighbouring countries.
To address the worsening humanitarian crisis unfolding in DRC, today the European Commission announced €49.5 million in emergency assistance. A further €10.9 million will go to neighbouring countries, namely Tanzania, Rwanda, and the Republic of Congo mainly to support Congolese refugees. This brings the total amount of aid committed today to €60 million.
The announcement came as Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides visited EU aid projects in North and South Kivu, and met 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 too 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 Denis Mukwege in Bukavu and the Ndosho hospital in Goma.
Of today's announcement of €49.5 million in aid for DRC, €42.3 million will address the basic needs of the population affected by the crisis in the country. The remaining €7.2 million will support the EU's humanitarian flight (''ECHO flight'') service throughout 2018 which delivers essential aid supplies to difficult to access areas.
On 13 April 2018, Commissioner Stylianides will co-chair, on behalf of the European Union, a humanitarian donors' conference on DRC in Geneva. 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.