Humanitarian Responses in the Eastern of the Democratic Rep. of Congo: More of the Same?

by admin on October 14, 2011

More of the same is the feeling of the Humanitarian response in DRC

Unless the Congolese Government can reform its security sector as agreed in the Sun City peace accord, humanitarian responses in the
Eastern Congo will be viewed by the local populace in Eastern Congo as du déjà vu—more of the same.

For both beneficiaries of humanitarian aid and field-workers who have distributed such aid in the Eastern Congo, there is a general sense of no forward motion 
Clearly there is a disconnect between the magnitude and the complexities of the humanitarian emergencies in the Eastern Congo and the humanitarian response that has been mounted severally.

Local populations, the intended beneficiaries of the humanitarian aid, have the feeling of being peripheral to the overall humanitarian response.

Over the past 10 years, vast quantities of aid have been poured into Eastern Congo and a large number of aid workers engaged. Despite these apparently heroic efforts, the intended beneficiaries remain unclear with regard to the intended goal or purpose of this massive exercise. This lack of
clarity is lodged in two interlocking factors: prolonged insecurity and prolonged relief aid.

Where these two factors interface, an inherent momentum is created, keeping both elements in perpetual and prolonged motion. Insecurity and relief aid feed on each other. Prolonged insecurity dislocates local populations, setting in motion calls for prolonged relief aid.  Meanwhile armed militias roaming in the area have no access to food and non-food items with the consequence that they attack the relief aid distribution points. In this pernicious fashion, the availability of food aid creates more insecurity.

This vicious circle will continue into the future unless the humanitarian advocate and rights group pressure the government to end the role of the Violent Non- State Actor acting freely in Eastern Congo.  In addition, the dynamics of the forthcoming elections will exacerbate all of the dysfunctional elements now at work, thus ensuring that the humanitarian response in Eastern Congo continues into the future, ensuring that any semblance of development is kept at bay.

By: Fidele Ayu Lumeya




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