DR Congo: Pax Christi Flanders staff member says "more is needed than humanitarian aid to give the young people in Congo hope again"

 

by Nadia Nsayi, Central Africa policy officer, Pax Christi Vlaanderen

25/4/2018 - After three weeks in Congo, I am back on Belgian soil. Three weeks in Kinshasa and eastern Congo, filled with numerous encounters. The young people I met dream of peace and a job, but feel more than ever abandoned by the government. Their lives seem hopeless. But Congolese pride lies behind their desperation.

Because despite the violence and poverty, young people continue to believe in the future. Their large number is an undisputed strength for Congo. I believe that their growing political awareness will eventually lead to better leaders and better policies. Even after my three weeks in the country, I remain a Congo-believer, without closing my eyes to the immense problems. Because they are there.

According to the UN, 4.5 million people are on the run in Congo. 13 million people need urgent humanitarian counseling. Of the $1.7 billion needed to remedy this, only 12% has been released as of today, including by Belgium. That is why the UN, the EU and the Netherlands are organising a donor conference in Geneva today...

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Nadia Nsayi, Pax Christi Flanders, Belgium, Pax Christi Vlaanderen, Democratic Republic of Congo