Congo government boycotts United Nations aid conference

Esequiel Farfan
Abril 17, 2018

Congo on Friday took the extraordinary step of boycotting an worldwide conference aimed at raising hundreds of millions of dollars to help its people, saying the Central African country's humanitarian crisis has been exaggerated.

"We can not come as a guest", he said.

Many speakers from 53 United Nations member states on Friday didn't address the elephant in the room: Congo's absence.

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After decades of neglect, a series of violent clashes in the DRC this year has nearly doubled the number of people in need of assistance, according to aid organisations, with eight million now in danger of malnutrition. The U.N. says $209 million has are available towards that objective to this point this yr.

Congo's government later said that it will ban the work of aid organizations that receive conference funding from countries that have sanctioned Congolese figures. Its officers have downplayed the extent of the widespread starvation and displacement there. A similar but smaller funding drive a year ago collected over $540 million for the country, but 85 percent of that went through independent organizations.

Spokesman Jens Laerke with the U.N.'s Workplace of the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs says it's "unlucky" that President Joseph Kabila's authorities "didn't wish to take part".

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