On October 24, 2017, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced $26.9 million in emergency funding to assist vulnerable populations in the Kasaï region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This assistance brings the total USAID emergency contribution to the DRC in Fiscal Year 2017 to more than $128 million.
The additional funding will enable USAID’s NGO and UN partners to rapidly deliver relief items and services to populations affected by the conflict in Kasaï, Kasaï Central, Kasaï Oriental, and Lomami provinces. Activities range from the provision of food assistance and free medical care to the distribution of items such as blankets, tarpaulins, and cooking sets. Also included are programs to provide temporary employment opportunities to assist the revitalization of the economy and a project which will assist youth formally associated with militias to reintegrate into their communities.
Since August 2016, conflict in the Kasaï Region of the DRC has prompted massive displacement, cutting off populations from their homes, livelihoods, and support systems. In April 2017, it was estimated that 1.4 million people had been displaced. As in other conflict-affected areas in the DRC, humanitarian assistance is critical to saving lives and reducing suffering. As the largest single humanitarian donor to the DRC, the United States is committed to assisting the Congolese people in their time of need.