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Democratic Republic of Congo

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response his Department has made to the humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo; and if he will make a statement. (233948)

Following a request from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Department for International Development (DFID) is organising relief flights with plastic sheeting, blankets, water purification tablets and buckets for immediate distribution to those in need. DFID funded partners are able to get some assistance to those displaced and in need in and around Goma and some of the secure outlying areas. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and non-governmental partners such as Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Merlin and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have been providing immediate relief aid such as emergency food, health, shelter and non-food items.

DFID is one of the largest and most active humanitarian donors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A recent additional £5 million contribution for the crisis in North Kivu brings our total contribution in 2008 to £42 million. We are also engaged with humanitarian contacts, not least as current chair of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Group in DRC, to help assess the situation, co-ordinate donors and ensure that together donors respond to priority needs.