Netherlands to contribute to humanitarian assistance for Congolese

Speaking at the DRC Humanitarian Conference in Geneva on Friday, development minister Sigrid Kaag announced that the Netherlands will make over €10 million available this year for humanitarian assistance to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The conference was organised by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the EU and the Netherlands.

‘The humanitarian situation in the DRC is heartbreaking and requires a fast response,’ said the minister. ‘We cannot abandon the internally displaced and other victims of this forgotten crisis to their fate. The suffering must stop.’ Last month Ms Kaag visited the DRC, accompanied by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sir Mark Lowcock.

Of the €10.4 million set aside, the majority will go to a UN fund for the DRC, with the rest going to non-governmental organisations that provide emergency aid. For many years now, the Netherlands has also contributed to emergency aid funds through other channels – including those dedicated to easing the Congolese people's plight.

In her speech Ms Kaag stressed that humanitarian assistance alone is not enough, however. She repeated the UN Security Council's call for all armed groups in the DRC to halt the violence.