The humanitarian community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Congolese authorities today launched an appeal for US$ 748 million to assist 6.7 million people in 2017 –marking the first year of a new three-year action plan in the DRC.
Its objective over the next 36 months is to respond to the humanitarian needs of millions of civilians affected by one of the world’s most acute and protracted crises.
The 2017 appeal, which was launched in Kinshasa with the participation of representatives of non-governmental humanitarian organizations and donors will, among other things, target the needs of over 2.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs), 500,000 children less than 5 years old suffering from acute malnutrition, and hundreds of thousands threatened by diseases and epidemics.
Having seen worsening levels of conflict and violence over the last year, humanitarian actors project that the needs are likely to increase even further in the coming months. In 2016, insecurity has forced on average 2,000 people per day into displacement increasing their number from 1.6 million to more than 2.1 million.
As 2017 starts, humanitarian organizations have already been called to respond to violent clashes in the south-eastern province of Tanganyika, in the three provinces of Kasai and to the needs of new refugees from South Sudan living in the north-eastern part of the country. Moreover, measles and cholera have also become major recurring health issues.
“Millions of people are suffering a humanitarian crisis born out of armed conflicts and other threats that is deeply affecting their daily lives. It is vital that the world does not forget the urgent and massive humanitarian needs in the DRC. We simply must find a way to mobilize the $748 million needed to respond to the growing vital needs”, said Rein Paulsen, Head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the DRC.
After years of annual strategies, the 2017-2019 response plan breaks with past approaches to align with strategic development plans of the State, the United Nations system, the World Bank and other bilateral partners. While over 60 percent of the humanitarian needs are located in the eastern part of the country, western and central provinces suffer from generalized poverty that calls for solutions that go beyond humanitarian assistance.
« The launch of the pluriannual Humanitarian Response Plan 2017-2019 is perfectly timed as it helps the humanitarian community to set priorities for the next three years », concluded Paluku Kisaka Yereyere, Minister of Social Affairs, Solidarity and Humanitarian Action in the DRC.