Humanitarian organisations operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo have demanded assurances of their safety in the country as they carry out their activities.
The demand was made during the launching of the plan for humanitarian response for the year 2022 on Thursday, Feb. 17.
They cited insecurity as the biggest challenge, while also raising concerns on the inter-ministerial decisions impeding them from carrying out their activities in the country.
“If we look at the statistics, they are very sad for the year 2021. We are seeing more and more problems on the way of humanitarian workers concerning security and access to different sites as compared to previous years,” said Johan Heffinck of the regional bureau of the General Directorate of Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
“There is the specific problem of inter-ministerial decisions which are accords which are signed between certain ministries and the partners as well as the non-governmental organisations, which explain how they have to work and which accords are concluded so that the NGOs work within the government context.
“We therefore call on the government to accelerate the administrative process in signing these decisions in order to facilitate the life of partners.
“The biggest problem confronting us is the problem of security, mostly in the eastern provinces. It is becoming very difficult for certain of our partners even to leave Goma and to pass through the two highways of Sake and Rutshuru.
“If in the past they were considered secure roads, now we have seen kidnappings and attacks against humanitarian workers on these highways,” he added.
The representative of the international humanitarian bodies said in each country where there is a conflict as in the eastern provinces of the DR Congo, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that humanitarian workers operate within a secure atmosphere without deaths, being wounded or kidnapped.
Concerning the financing of the humanitarian plan expected this year, Heffinck said the amount could be up to 1.99 billion US dollars, which he noted, would be a good thing.
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