The Swiss Confederation’s humanitarian aid is active in three countries of the Great Lakes Region: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo ( the provinces of North and South Kivu, Maniema, Katanga and Ituri ) as well as in Tanzania. Today, the situation in the country remains fragile and requires great vigilance.
For over 40 million people, these conflicts and wars have slowed down or even made impossible the development process essential to the prosperity of their region. The percentage of the population living below the absolute poverty line increased from 35 % in 1990 to over 65 % today. The primary school enrollment rate has dropped from 70 % to 43 %, the infant mortality fell from 110 to 136 ‰ .
SDC Humanitarian officials study and fund numerous humanitarian actions in the Great Lakes. Several projects are implemented by NGOs on the ground. In other cases, Switzerland contributes financially or through the provision of experts in programs run by UN agencies participating in the definition of the desired impacts. The areas of intervention of the Swiss humanitarian aid in the field of peacebuilding are: Refugees, IDPs return assistance.
In view of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the DRC and its implications on neighboring countries, Switzerland has sent since 2012, a humanitarian officer in Bukavu (South Kivu/DRC). This presence allowed better analyzing humanitarian needs, assisted geographical areas and identifying successful organizations on site beyond the traditional partners. Following the humanitarian degradation in North Kivu, the International Organization for Migration ( IOM) has been chosen as a partner to support the internally displaced people.