Press Release

DRC: Ebola Overshadowing Larger Humanitarian Crisis

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s humanitarian emergency has left 12.8 million people in need of urgent support, with this figure projected to rise to 15 million in 2020. Yet for 2019, the Humanitarian Response Plan is less than half funded.  

While the underfunding of the humanitarian response is not new, it has become increasingly acute in light of the Ebola outbreak in the country, which has diverted attention and resources.  

Whitney Elmer, Mercy Corps Country Director in DRC says: 

“For the past year, the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC has overshadowed the complex and long-lasting humanitarian crisis in the country. We have seen donors pivot resources and lose focus of the wider humanitarian needs, but with 15 million people projected to be in need of emergency relief in DRC in 2020, this cannot continue.  

DRC is home to the world’s second worst displacement crisis after Syria, and in the last quarter in South Kivu alone, there was a 24 percent increase in security incidents.

While it is undoubtedly vital to respond to the Ebola emergency, what we are seeing is a systemic and chronic underfunding of the DRC humanitarian response. In 2019, funding from the EU for the humanitarian response was halved and as we near the end of the year, only 42 percent of the response plan has been funded. This insufficient support has made the situation more challenging, leaving agencies unable to scale up their responses and intervene effectively.

In 2020, it is imperative that both the Ebola response and the wider humanitarian needs are funded adequately. If not, the consequences could be seismic and far-reaching.”

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