DRC: ERC Amos emphasises need for reform and international support

11 March, 2011
Valerie Amos greets the OCHA staff, as she arrives in Dungu, Orientale Province. Credit: OCHA/Charline Burton
Valerie Amos greets the OCHA staff, as she arrives in Dungu, Orientale Province. Credit: OCHA/Charline Burton

ERC Amos has ended her two-day visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after visiting two areas of the country heavily affected by conflict and violence: North Kivu and Orientale Province.

“Today I was appalled by the testimonies I heard,” said Ms. Amos in a press statement from Dungu in northern DRC on 10 March 2011. She met victims of violent atrocities committed by the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). In conflict areas, people live at the mercy of armed groups, and the number of people displaced by conflict is among the world’s highest.

Ms. Amos emphasised the necessity of reform in the security and justice systems to better protect civilians. She urged the government to strengthen its presence in the area and UN Member States to provide significantly more resources to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

However, the suffering of people in the DRC is not only conflict-related. “Even in relatively stable areas not affected by conflict, people are suffering due to endemic poverty and a lack of opportunities,” said Ms. Amos in a press release at the end of her trip. Economic distress and the spread of cholera and other diseases have made the DRC’s humanitarian situation one of the most enduring in the world. The UN and its partners have requested funding through the Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) for 2011, which was only 63 per cent funded in 2010.

“Continued generous donor support is essential,” said Ms. Amos. “People in the DRC want what millions of people around the world already have: Peace. Security. Stability. We are trying to help people survive. As other crises emerge around the world, we must make sure that the people of the DRC are not forgotten.”

More>> OCHA Press Release [English - French]  -  ERC Press Statement at the conclusion of her visit to DRC [English - French]  -  ERC Press Statement on the Orientale Province [English - French]