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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Ireland is giving another €5 million in aid to the severe humanitarian crisis in DR Congo

The UN has described the crisis as the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in the world.

A camp for displaced people in Bunia, eastern Congo.
A camp for displaced people in Bunia, eastern Congo.
Image: Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro via AP

IRELAND IS TO give a further €5 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the deepening crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Ireland’s pledge is to be delivered at a UN Pledging Conference today in Geneva. Ireland has provided over €16 million to the DRC since 2016.

In addition, Ireland is the eighth largest donor to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, which allocated over €22.1 million last year.

The UN has described the crisis as the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in the world. Last October, the UN declared a level three humanitarian emergency – the highest possible level.

The declaration triggered a massive scale-up in the response from the international community, including from Ireland, which donated over €6.9 million in 2017.

Congo, the size of Western Europe, has seen immeasurable cruelty and greed as a result of its mineral resources while more than 80% of the population lives below the absolute poverty line.

The nation suffered through one of the most brutal colonial reigns ever known before enduring decades of corrupt dictatorship. Back-to-back civil wars later drew in a number of neighbouring countries.

Speaking ahead of the conference today, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: “I remain deeply concerned by the level of violence, including gender-based violence, in the DRC, and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law.

In particular, I condemn the ongoing recruitment of child soldiers and recent attacks on hospitals and schools in Kasai. In order to protect human life and reduce suffering, I call on the government of the DRC to scrupulously respect human rights and international humanitarian law.

“The international community, including Ireland, are gathered in Geneva today for a high-level pledging event to support the humanitarian response in the DRC. We will continue to review provision of further funds throughout the year and I would urge other donors to do the same.”

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