A conference aimed at raising funds to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was held on the 13th of April in Geneva. Delegations representing more than 100 countries arrived. The government of DRC boycotted the meeting, so the country’s president Joseph Kabila was also absent.
According to the United Nations the DRC is facing a humanitarian crisis of the highest third level. The country holds half of Africa’s forests and the same share of water resources. It is also rich in mineral reserves worth trillion of dollars. Despite all of that more than half of its populations lives for less than $1.50 a day.
With 13 million (as per the UN) of those in a desperate need of humanitarian aid the country is reaching the levels of Syria and Yemen. At least 4.5 million remain internally displaced. More than 7 million citizens suffer severe food insecurity. Two million children are at risk of starvation, making up 12% the cases worldwide.
According to Mr Kabila the UN is exaggerating the scale of the problem. As the government data shows 231,000 people were displaced, against 4.5 million UN estimate. The government was trying to convince the conference participants to reject aid measures that they described as a negative campaign discouraging foreign investors.
Kabila has stayed in power since 2001. His third and last term ended officially in December 2016. Elections are scheduled in December this year. His refusal to step down intensified the existing conflicts across 10 provinces. Fear of another civil war is rising. The previous one ended in 2003 after 5 years of fighting.