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Democratic Republic of Congo: Overseas Aid

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effects of the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the DRC. (262739)

[holding answer 11 March 2009]: The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains in the grip of a severe and prolonged humanitarian crisis, with 1.2 million people displaced by conflict in the east of the country, millions remaining food insecure and vulnerable to disease and natural disasters. However, the overall security situation in eastern DRC has improved over recent months. The end of hostilities and the integration into the national army of the CNDP militia (predominantly Rwandan militia group) since January has reduced barriers to humanitarian access in large areas of North Kivu, in turn allowing aid to reach those most in need. The longer-term humanitarian impact of joint DRC and Rwandan army operations against another militia group, the FDLR (former Rwandan Hutu forces) remains uncertain and the humanitarian community remains prepared to deal with any consequences that arise.

In the north of DRC, in Province Orientale, an ongoing joint DRC/Ugandan military operation which started in December against the Ugandan Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels has provoked widespread reprisals against the population by the LRA. This has generated humanitarian and protection needs for the population. MONUC have increased their military presence in the area in order to mitigate the humanitarian impact.