DUBLIN, Ireland, April 13, 2018-Ireland will today pledge at least €5 million in humanitarian response to the deepening crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Democratic Republic of the Congo represents today one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises in terms of people in need. Ireland’s pledge will be delivered at a UN Pledging Conference today in Geneva and builds on the support of over €16 million provided by Ireland to the DRC since 2016.
Speaking ahead of the conference the Tánaiste said:
‘A shocking 4.5 million Congolese are internally displaced today, the highest number on the African continent. A further 750,000 have sought protection in neighbouring countries as a result of violence, food insecurity and widespread human rights violations and abuses. Ireland is a long-standing humanitarian donor in the Democratic Republic of Congo and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Congolese people as part of the international response’.
The Tánaiste went on to say:
‘I remain deeply concerned by the level of violence, including gender-based violence, in the DRC, and by the grievous human rights abuses, and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law. In particular, I condemn the ongoing recruitment of child soldiers and recent attacks on hospitals and schools in the Kasai. In order to protect human life and reduce suffering, I call on the Government of the DRC to scrupulously respect human rights and International Humanitarian Law. The Government should also take urgent measures to give full and safe access to all humanitarian agencies and to allow effective implementation of humanitarian relief operations. ’
Minister of State Cannon added:
‘The international community, including Ireland, are gathered in Geneva today for a High-Level Pledging Event to support the humanitarian response in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ireland will provide over €5 million in humanitarian assistance in 2018 to those affected by the crisis in the country. This builds on our steadfast commitment to the DRC over many years. We will continue to review provision of further funds throughout the year and I would urge other donors to do the same.’