Democratic Republic of the Congo at a glance
The Giant with Feet of Clay
Despite the world’s largest peacekeeping mission and considerable political progress and relative stability at the national level, conflict in the east and massive humanitarian needs continued to plague the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2007. An estimated 45,000 continued to die every month, while more civilians were forced from their homes – adding to the 1.3 million already internally displaced – whilst returnees faced enormous challenges. Long considered a “forgotten crisis,” the DRC is now receiving greater donor attention. Over US$500 million was provided in humanitarian aid in 2007, including US$456 million (66 percent) of the Consolidated Appeal.
The use of Central Emergency Response Fund money and of a Pooled Fund, as well as good coordination, have been important features of the response and reflect the objectives of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative. However, the UN-centric and short-term nature of the response has been criticised. Furthermore, protection and long-term recovery remain key challenges and it is too early to gauge the impact of humanitarian reforms on the lives of the population. The fragility of the situation must not be underestimated.