Humanitarian crisis in DRC: Switzerland commits CHF 12.5 million to assist the population

Press release, 13.04.2018

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is gripped by one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The country now also faces a cholera epidemic, while millions of its people are dependent on humanitarian assistance. Representatives of several states and humanitarian organisations met today in Geneva to support the international response to this crisis. This was the first high-level humanitarian conference devoted to the DRC. Switzerland will provide CHF 12.5 million this year to support emergency operations in the country.

People share bean rations at a UN World Food Programme distribution site in the crisis-ridden Congolese region of Kasai.
Around 13 million people in the DRC require humanitarian aid. Switzerland is providing CHF 12.5 million to support emergency operations in the country. © Keystone

The DRC is undergoing a grave humanitarian crisis. Currently 13 million people are in need of assistance – double the number of last year. Clashes between government forces and armed groups have displaced 4.5 million people throughout the country and the situation remains volatile in many areas. The DRC is also facing a serious cholera epidemic.

To meet the needs, set at USD 1.69 billion, a donor pledging conference was held today in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations, the Netherlands and the European Union. This was the first high-level humanitarian conference devoted to the DRC. 

Switzerland pledged CHF 12.5 million to support humanitarian operations in 2018. This amount will support measures to protect civilians and provide them with the means to cover their needs in terms of healthcare, food and basic necessities, and in addition it will support communities hosting displaced people. Experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit will also be seconded to UN agencies.

Switzerland reiterated its strong commitment to respect for humanitarian principles and called on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, which guarantees the protection of civilians.

The Great Lakes region is a priority region for Swiss cooperation. Humanitarian activities in the DRC are complemented by longer-term development programmes. Switzerland focuses its efforts on obtaining better access to basic services for the Congolese population, combating violence against women, vocational training, the development of a local economy and the consolidation of democratic processes. Lastly, Switzerland is committed to promoting peace and political dialogue with the Congolese authorities.

Further information:

Great Lakes (Rwanda, Burundi, Congo)
Off-the-radar humanitarian crises in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs