UN: DRC aid conference raises $582m from donors

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The United Nations says donors pledged $528 million for humanitarian issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at a recent gathering in Geneva.

The figure is less than a third of the total $1.7 billion the UN estimates is needed to provide emergency aid to those most desperate in the DRC. However, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock says he is pleased with progress and never expected to raise the full amount in one conference.

Donors pledge $528m for DRC aid

Donors gathered in Geneva on Friday but representatives from the DRC boycotted the meeting altogether. The country’s government accuses the UN of exaggerating the extent of its humanitarian crisis, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called “one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises” in a video address to donors at the event.

Despite the absence of DRC representatives, donors still raised $528m in aid funding and UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock says a number of additional countries are expected to make pledges soon.

“I am pleased with the progress,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Crisis in the DRC

In January, the UN said it needed $1.7 billion to deliver urgent aid to millions of people in the DRC. Last year alone, an estimated 2.2 million became internally displaced due to spreading violence in the country, almost doubling the total figure of internally displaced people to 4.5 million.

More than 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the DRC, including some 4.6 million children suffering from acute malnourishment.

Earlier this year, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said there’s also “an epidemic of sexual violence, most of it unreported and unaddressed, and much of it against children.”

Featured image: By Oxfam East Africa – New arrivals pour into Kibati, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35678439

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.