9 June 2020

UN humanitarian chief releases $40M for DR Congo

The UN’s humanitarian chief on Monday released $40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help tackle health emergencies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

“Today I’m releasing $40 million from UNCERF to tackle health emergencies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),” UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said on Twitter.

“On top of Ebola and COVID-19, DRC is battling the world’s largest measles outbreak, massive internal displacement and insecurity,” he added.

An official statement released by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the announcement came shortly after the Government confirmed a new Ebola outbreak in Mbandaka, in the northwestern province of Equateur.

“The DRC is fighting a prolonged Ebola outbreak and more than 2,200 people have lost their lives to the virus in the DRC since the outbreak started in the eastern Ituri, North-Kivu and South-Kivu provinces in August 2018,” the statement said.

“The CERF funds will strengthen the DRC’s existing health services to enable follow up support for Ebola survivors and establish community-based surveillance, alert and rapid response systems. They will also fund the delivery of food, shelter, water and sanitation support, and health, education and protection services,” it added.

The statement went on to say that the DRC is battling a dangerous mix of health and humanitarian crises on top of Ebola, including the world’s largest measles outbreak, massive internal displacement and insecurity, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DRC had reported 4,106 cases of COVID-19 and 88 deaths.

The pandemic has killed over 406,600 worldwide, with over 7.12 million confirmed cases and more than 3.29 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.