Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The EU has earmarked 47 million euro for humanitarian aid in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In a statement released on Sunday, the European Commission warned that the situation in the east of the country is deteriorating as the conflict in the North Kivu region escalates.
The EC stressed that humanitarian workers are increasingly overwhelmed by the needs of a growing number of internally displaced people, which is why the EU decided to set up a humanitarian air bridge.
The air bridge to the region’s capital Goma will be set up with the help of France as a Team Europe initiative to supply people in need with food, medical supplies and other emergency items.
The EC stressed that the bloc will deliver the aid in cooperation with humanitarian partners including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, pointed out that “the EU stands ready to mobilize all the necessary means to support humanitarian workers, including logistics and air, to meet the needs of the population in Democratic Republic of Congo.”
“With this Humanitarian Air Bridge operation organised with the support of France and the new fund mobilisation, we reaffirm our support to the most vulnerable,” he concluded.
Cooperation with partners
The EC reiterated that it earmarked 47 million euro for aid, stressing that the money will be “channelled through humanitarian partners to cover immediate needs such as nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation, shelter and protection.”
The body reminded that the conflict in the east of DRC displaced more than 600,000 people of which roughly 240,000 to the outskirts of Goma. It stressed that living conditions of displaced people are extremely harsh as they have no shelter or access to food, water and healthcare.
Escalation of violence has left approximately 27 million people struggling with food insecurity, with the EC stressing that humanitarian efforts need to be at least doubled to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
The bloc allocated approximately 82 million euro in 2022 to finance humanitarian efforts in DRC and the Great Lakes region.
The EC noted that the EU supported DRC emergency humanitarian actions with more than 70 million euro in 2021, stressing that this aid came on top of support provided by individual bloc members.