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Democratic Republic of Congo: Overseas Aid

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funds the Government has provided to the disarmament and demobilisation programmes of Mai Mai groups in (a) south Kivu and (b) the rest of Democratic Republic of Congo where the Mai Mai are active. (249528)

The UK has contributed US$35 million to a World Bank led Multi-Country Demobilisation and Reintegration Programme (MDRP), which supports the demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants in the greater Great Lakes region of Central Africa . The largest programme of its kind in the world, the MDRP, with a budget of US$500 million, targets an estimated 450,000 ex-combatants in seven countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The programme has already funded the demobilisation and reintegration of more than 100,000 former combatants in DRC.

Of the 100,000 who have benefited from the programme 33,708 were from Mai Mai groups, of which 28,235 were demobilised and the remaining 5,503 were integrated into the army. We do not have a breakdown for South Kivu. One challenge for the MDRP has been the large number of supposed ‘combatants’ who have tried to enter the programme without a weapon to hand in (a necessary determinant of eligibility). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is currently developing complementary community reintegration programming to target those who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the national MDRP programme.