Ireland announces €6m in aid to the DRC and Central African Republic

Decades of conflict have created one of the world’s most complex humanitarian crises

Ireland announces €6m in aid to the DRC and Central African Republic

Photocall file photo

 

Ireland has pledged €6m in humanitarian assistance to humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR).

We will provide €3m each to DRC and CAR through UN pooled funding.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says providing funding this way means the most urgent needs can be met quickly - food, shelter, health or protection for the most vulnerable.

Announcing the funding, Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said: "Ireland is deeply concerned about the prolonged humanitarian crises in DRC and CAR, where ongoing insecurity, high displacement and chronic vulnerability continue to cause great human suffering."

Decades of armed conflict in the DRC have created one of the world’s most complex and long-standing humanitarian crises.

People in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo respond to the arrival of French peacekeepers in 2003 | Image: UN Photo/A Burridge

Over seven million people need humanitarian assistance, and millions have been forced to flee their homes due to armed attacks and violence.

More than one million people have been displaced by the violence that began in August 2016 in the Kasai region.

"The conflict in the CAR broke out in 2013.

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it has had "a devastating impact on an already impoverished country."

Violent clashes continue to cause displacement with 2.3 million people - almost half the population - in need of humanitarian assistance.

The DRC and CAR are among the poorest countries in the world.

Members of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and other groups prepare for the destruction of rockets in Bagui, Central African Republic in 2015 | Image: UN Photo/Nektarios Markogiannis

Conflict has destroyed vital infrastructure and devastated livelihoods, increasing the vulnerability of people already facing chronic poverty.

Food insecurity and chronic malnutrition is widespread in both states - affecting over four million people in DRC and two million people in CAR.

Ireland has contributed over €20m in response to the crisis in the DRC since 2013.

The CAR has been unstable since its independence from France in 1960.

The conflict in the DRC - which began over its natural resources of diamonds, gold and copper - has cost some five million lives between 1994 and 2003.