The Scottish Government is to contribute £293,000 of funding from its Humanitarian Emergency Fund to aid projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) once known as Zaire is the second largest country on the continent of Africa and has a population of 78 million.
Rich in natural resources it is the world’s largest producer of cobalt and is rich in copper and diamonds. It is wracked by violence, corruption and widespread abuse of human rights.
Dr Alasdair Allan, International Development Minister in the Scottish Government said:
“For decades, the DRC has struggled with one of the world’s most relentless emergencies. Escalating conflict within the country has resulted in 4.3 million people displaced from their homes, 9.9 million considered food insecure and two million malnourished children.
“We want Scotland to be a good global citizen and our Humanitarian Emergency Fund aims to provide emergency life-saving aid to those in most need.
“We also recognise the humanitarian role neighbouring countries like Zambia have played in receiving increasing numbers of new arrivals of refugees from the DRC. This situation, and the response of the Zambian authorities, is an issue I will be keen to learn more about during my upcoming visit to Zambia.”
On December 31st 2017 DRC security forces used excessive violence including tear gas and live ammunition confronting peaceful protesters at Catholic churches in Kinshasa and other parts of the country. Eight people were killed and many more injured, however, those numbers may actually be much more.