More than €3 million in emergency aid to victims of new violence in eastern DR Congo

Fighting between rebel groups and government forces in and around the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo has resulted in a flood of refugees. Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, today pledged €3.2 million to the UN Refugee Agency for their shelter in refugee camps.

The Netherlands endorses the UN Security Council’s condemnation and call for the M23 rebels to withdraw from Goma, and shares its grave concerns about the fate of displaced persons. ‘M23 must end the violence immediately and withdraw from Goma. The imminent destabilisation of Congo could result in even greater violence and more deaths,’ said Ms Ploumen.

The exact number of displaced persons is unknown. Many people have fled from Goma, a city of almost one million inhabitants. A further 60,000 people who were housed in a camp near Goma as a result of previous fighting have also fled. Before the current crisis arose there were already 700,000 displaced persons in the area.

The Dutch government is also supporting various civil society organisations assisting refugees in eastern DR Congo. This new commitment brings the Netherlands’ total contribution for 2012 to almost €6 million.