| 20 March 2023, Monday |

EU releases funds, prepares aid flight for eastern Congo

 The European Union said on Saturday it is releasing over 47 million euros ($49.97 million) for humanitarian aid for Congo’s North Kivu and plans to send a flight with medical supplies and food to the conflict-stricken eastern province.

“The EU stands ready to mobilise all the necessary means to support humanitarian workers, including logistics and air, to meet the needs of the population in Democratic Republic of Congo,” European Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said.

“With this Humanitarian Air Bridge operation organised with the support of France and the new fund mobilisation, we reaffirm our support to the most vulnerable,” Lenarcic, the commissioner for crisis management, said in a statement.

The flight will head to Goma, the capital of North Kivu, and deliver aid including medical and nutritional supplies, the statement said.

The funds will “be channelled through humanitarian partners to cover immediate needs such as nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation, shelter and protection”, the EU said.

Insecurity has spiralled in the long volatile east of the sprawling central African country over the past year, mainly due to the major comeback of a rebel group known as the M23.

Their latest offensives have added instability to large mineral-rich provinces struggling with decades of militia violence.

  • Reuters