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. Today, the situation in these countries remains fragile and requires consistency in development action.
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 the 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, helping to define the desired impacts.
In 2008, Switzerland spent 10 million Swiss francs (9.7 million USD) for its humanitarian actions in the Great Lakes region.
The sectors that Swiss humanitarian aid supports in the health field are the following: