Skip to main content

Democratic Republic of Congo: Overseas Aid

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the (a) recent humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and (b) adequacy of the (i) UK's and (ii) international community's long-term aid efforts; and if he will make a statement. (254115)

The humanitarian situation remains grave with up to 1.3 million displaced in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and many conflict affected communities in need of emergency assistance. According to the UN, almost 130,000 people in Province Orientale have been recently displaced by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) attacks and almost 300 killed in January as Joint DRC/Ugandan/South Sudan military operations are underway. There are also Joint Rwandan and DRC military operations in North Kivu to tackle the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR). Humanitarian access and protection of civilians remain key areas of concern. John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator will be visiting DRC between 6-10 February to assess the humanitarian response and protection concerns in North Kivu and Province Oriental.

The UK Government are a major donor to DRC and will provide £230 million between 2009-10 and 2010-11. We have developed a development programme which responds to the needs and constraints of the country, balancing meeting short-term needs (e.g. humanitarian assistance) with helping to lay the foundation for long-term development. We have worked closely with the international community to develop a joint donor framework and donor co-ordination is slowly improving. Given the high levels of poverty DRC remains under-funded overall. However, there are currently significant operational constraints to absorbing further aid.