The European Commission has announced it will distribute €34.275m in humanitarian aid to the Great Lakes region in Africa.
The Commission’s Great Lakes humanitarian aid funding will go towards supporting the most vulnerable communities in the Great Lakes region, primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo; as well as providing additional support to Burundian refugees settling in Tanzania and Rwanda. The Great Lakes region faces significant degrees of armed conflict and socioeconomic instability, with Burundi in a state of political crisis since 2015 and the Democratic Republic of Congo experiencing an ongoing Ebola epidemic. Great Lakes communities face high risk of forced displacement and food shortages, as well as the impacts of disease epidemics and natural disasters. The latest round of funding brings the EU’s total 2019 humanitarian aid contribution across the Great Lakes to €69.74m.
€600,000 of the Great Lakes humanitarian aid will be allocated to United Nations agencies providing support to vulnerable communities in Burundi; while €4.3m will go towards supporting refugees from Burundi in Rwanda and Tanzania. The remaining €29.375m will be distributed to humanitarian efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Projects supported by the EU in the region will help communities develop clean water and sanitation systems; as well as offering immediate aid and psychosocial support to those affected by conflict and gendered violence.
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and the EU’s Ebola coordinator, said: “Food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo is worsening the humanitarian situation. We are stepping up support, including in the eastern conflict-torn part of the country, affected by the Ebola epidemic. We also maintain our solidarity with Burundian refugees in the region. Our new aid package will provide emergency healthcare, improve hygiene conditions and access to clean water, provide protection, and give education to children caught in these crises.”