Several United Nations (UN) agencies and relief partners have launched the largest-ever funding appeal for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the 2018 appeal – totalling $1.68-billion – aims to reach 10.5-million vulnerable people across the nation, where over 13-million are in need of assistance.
“The past year has been one of the most difficult for millions of civilians, with unrelenting cycle of violence, diseases, malnutrition and loss of livelihoods taking a toll on families,” Kim Bolduc, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the DRC, said in the capital Kinshasa, in launching the appeal on Thursday.
“This appeal reflects the magnitude, severity and unpredictability of a crisis that has gone on for far too long. We are grappling with one of the world’s largest, most acute, and complex humanitarian crisis.”
According to OCHA, there are now some 4.3-million internally displaces persons (IDPs) across DRC – the highest number in Africa – and the country is also grappling with the worst cholera outbreak in the past 15 years.
On the food and nutrition front, over 7.7-million suffer are food insecure, a 30 percent increase over the previous year.
Aid operations in the country are struggling with severe underfunding and only half of the $812.5-million humanitarian response for 2017 was funded.
“Without the essential support of the humanitarian community, the survival of thousands of people is at risk, and hopes of early recovery will be dashed,” Bolduc stressed.
“We must ensure sufficient funding so to match the magnitude of the crisis.”