Ongoing conflict and persistently high poverty levels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have spurred the active involvement of both non-governmental and government organizations in the United Kingdom (U.K.) over several years. These organizations have dedicated their efforts to providing essential aid to those affected by poverty and assisting displaced victims of conflict in the region.
The UK’s Involvement in the DRC
The U.K. has for years been actively involved in the DRC to help protect those who are financially vulnerable and those vulnerable due to continuous conflict across the country. There are many ways in which the U.K.’s aid to the DRC has happened.
Between 2014 and 2022, the U.K. actively implemented the ‘Supporting Peace and Stability in Eastern DRC‘ program, which yielded significant contributions toward conflict reduction and community stabilization in the region. Throughout the program’s duration, it allocated more than £55 million in funding across various critical areas. These areas encompassed civilian peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution, security system management and reform, rural development and active participation in international peacekeeping operations. Notably, the program prioritized the promotion of gender equality as one of its overarching objectives.
The New Humanitarian Program Aiding Conflict
In recent times, the U.K.’s aid to the DRC has continued. In May 2023, the U.K. government announced that it would provide a humanitarian package for the DRC worth £21 million to support the citizens of the DRC who have been negatively impacted by their surroundings. The conflict has taken place in the form of internal and external conflict, with regional tensions leading to the displacement of 465,000 people in 2022 in the Kivu region. The external conflict has risen through the political problems between the DRC and Rwanda. The U.K.’s constant support has proven to be of massive help to those who need it within the country.
There has been continuous work by the U.K. government throughout the years. It has continued to work with the government of the DRC to create national strategies in alignment with government objectives.
The U.K.’s aid to the DRC has also come from non-government organizations with success. ActionAid U.K. has worked in the DRC since 1987. In addition, it has continued its long-term program, especially in North and South Kivu provinces, focusing on preventing the occurrence of sexual violence and providing agricultural tools to help communities build and stabilize themselves to be able to produce. It has provided training throughout the years, teaching women about sexual health and the police and military about stopping sexual violence. Overall, Action Aid actively works to ensure that communities can sustain themselves.
Aid from non-government and governmental bodies in the DRC tends to focus on the provision of basic needs and facilities, such as helping the education sector by encouraging more children to get into education, the provision of health care where many do not have access to it in due to the citizens of DRC not having the money to afford health care and the lack of health care in areas experiencing conflict. So far, the U.K.’s aid to the DRC has positively impacted the citizens of the country.
– Christelle Wealth-Mukendi