Humanitarian aid from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in the <>Great Lakes is concentrated in three countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (provinces of North and South Kivu, Maniema, Katanga and Ituri) and Tanzania. Still today, the situation in these countries remains fragile and requires vigilance.
For more than 40 million people, these conflicts and wars have slowed or made impossible the development process essential to the prosperity of their region. The percentage of population living below the absolute poverty line rose from 35% in 1990 to more than 65% today. The primary school enrolment has dropped from 70% to 43 %, while that of infant mortality rose from 110 to 136 ‰.
Officials in charge of the Humanitarian field within SDC assess and fund many humanitarian actions in countries of the Great Lakes region. Several projects are implemented by NGOs present on the ground. In other cases, Switzerland helps financially or by providing experts to pilot programmes through agencies of the United Nations by taking part in the definition of the desired impacts.
In 2008, Switzerland spent 10 million Swiss francs (9.7 millions dollars) for its humanitarian actions in the Great Lakes region.<>
The intervention areas of the Swiss humanitarian aid in the field of peace building are the following:
Refugees, displaced persons, assistance to returnees
Children and conflicts
Food security and agricultural recovery
The humanitarian aid also provides a contribution to the Centre for risk management based in Goma (DRC). Finally, a regional Fund of 300,000 Swiss francs (300,000 USD) has been constituted for the period 2010-2011 to fund humanitarian actions targeted in the Great Lakes region.