From 8 to 12 December, Dr Peter Wittig, Head of the Federal Foreign Office Directorate-General for the United Nations and Global Issues, will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Kinshasa and Goma, he will have talks with government representatives, relief organizations and the UN Mission MONUC, as well as visit aid projects. The aim of the trip is to gain an accurate picture of the situation in eastern Congo with a view to organizing further German aid.
The talks will also focus on the state of the political process to resolve the conflict in the east of the country, in particular the UN and AU mediation efforts, towards which Germany has contributed EUR 500,000.
In the sphere of humanitarian aid, another EUR 500,000 are earmarked for this year – for a project assisting internally displaced people in North Kivu – in addition to the EUR 7 million already pledged. Next year, priority will be given to relief projects for victims of rape and sexual violence.
The largest project currently being planned is the rehabilitation of Goma airport, which is to be realized together with German Agro Action and in collaboration with MONUC. The airport's runway, which is partially covered in lava, is obstructing the work of relief organizations and MONUC. Its gradual repair is intended to improve aviation safety and to make it possible for larger relief flights to land.
Finally, concrete options for providing MONUC with even better support will be examined during the trip. Above all, this would involve joint projects to support the police and to rebuild state structures.