I am very concerned at the continuing deterioration of the situation in the DRC which is worsening an already grave humanitarian crisis. Over 850,000 people were already displaced in North Kivu prior to the latest incidents. It is estimated that this figure has been increased by a further quarter of a million people.
Since 2006 Ireland has made more than €31 million available in assistance to the DRC. The majority of this has been in humanitarian funding and has been used to address the urgent needs of the people affected by the conflict in the DRC.
In addition to our already substantial assistance to the DRC, more than €11 million so far in 2008, I have set aside up to €1 million in extra funding for further humanitarian relief in North Kivu. In addition, members of our rapid response corps are available should a request for their involvement be made.