Tánaiste Coveney and Minister Cannon announce funding to DR Congo
News28 December 2017
Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Minister Cannon announce funding to the Democratic Republic of the Congo humanitarian crisis
- €500k increase in funding to UN Democratic Republic of the Congo Humanitarian Fund
- Ireland has provided nearly €5.5m in assistance in humanitarian response to the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D, and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr. Ciarán Cannon, T.D., today announced additional Irish funding of €500,000 in humanitarian assistance to the severely underfunded humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The UN now refers to this crisis as the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in the world.
This funding brings Ireland’s total direct humanitarian support to the crisis in DRC to nearly €5.5 million this year, and over €20.5 million since 2014. In addition, Ireland is the eighth largest donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, which has allocated over USD $ 26.5 million to DRC so far this year.
Ireland will provide this support through the UN-managed Humanitarian Pooled Fund, which ensures that the most urgent needs can be met quickly, be they for food, shelter, health or protection for the most vulnerable.
Announcing the funding, the Tánaiste said:
“Decades of armed conflict and insecurity in DRC have created one of the world’s largest, most complex, and long-standing humanitarian crises. The situation has deteriorated hugely in 2017 and continues to evolve rapidly. The UN declared a Level 3 humanitarian emergency- the highest possible level- for large swathes of the country in October 2017.
Over eight million people urgently need humanitarian assistance and protection, and this number continues to rise. Over four million people have been forced to flee their homes, the highest level of internal displacement of any African country. Nearlyone and a half million of these have been displaced by the violence that began in August2016 in the Kasai region and which has now spread into neighboring provinces.
I am deeply concerned that the ongoing violence, displacement and chronic vulnerability continue to cause great human suffering. As part of Ireland’s response, I have decided to allocate an additional €500,000 to support urgent life-saving assistance for Congolese facing critical food insecurity and disease.”
Minister of State Cannon added:
“Despite ongoing human suffering and huge humanitarian needs, the crisis in DRC is slipping from the international agenda and is severely underfunded as a result.
Conflict has destroyed vital infrastructure and devastated livelihoods, increasing the vulnerability of people already facing chronic poverty. More than 40 per cent of Congolese children are chronically undernourished.
Ireland has consistently provided humanitarian support to the people of DRC. We remain committed to responding where needs are greatest, particularly in forgotten and underfunded crises such as this.”
28 December 2017
Notes to the editor:
Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information visit www.irishaid.ie
Ireland’s Humanitarian Assistance Policy outlines how Irish Aid saves and protects lives, alleviates suffering and maintains human dignity before, during and in the aftermath of humanitarian crises.
Ireland has consistently contributed to the humanitarian response in DRC through the UN since 2007. Since 2014, Ireland has provided over €20.5 million in response to the crisis in the DRC. This allocation brings Ireland’s total direct humanitarian support to DRC to nearly €5.5 million this year, and in 2016 Ireland provided €4.8 million.
The UN OCHA Humanitarian Pooled Funds allocate funding in-country to a broad range of partners, including UN organisations, and national and international NGOs. The Pooled Funds form part of the Humanitarian Response Plan for each country and the funding is allocated to meet critical humanitarian needs ranging from food assistance to protection to livelihoods support.
In October 2017, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, activated a UN system-wide Level 3 Emergency which is designed to mobilise the entire humanitarian system to accelerate and scale up the humanitarian response in DRC, focusing on the crises in the Kasais, Tanganyika and South Kivu.