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Belgium reacts to tackle humanitarian needs

Léa Gaudron
25 September 2017
For the last few years, humanitarian needs have grown, following crises and conflicts that lead to more and more casualties. The intern conflict in Kasai, for example, has caused the massive displacement of 3.8 million Congolese civilians. Besides the interventions during such crises, it is also necessary to invest in the development of better humanitarian technology. Confronted to those needs, Belgium acts.


Humanitarian innovation

Firstly, the Belgian Development Cooperation is investing in humanitarian research and innovation in order to improve the efficiency of the interventions. Next year, the country will double the budget dedicated to this innovation: 20 million euros will be mobilized. Those funds will be used to finance diverse projects, in partnership with humanitarian organizations.

With the World Food Program (WFP), Belgium intends to invest in the development of humanitarian drones. They will allow to collect information on affected areas and provide assistance more quickly in areas that are difficult to access, where the victims are the most vulnerable.

With Handicap International, the investment will be used to examine the technology of the 3D printing of human limbs with a computerized design. The objective is to improve access to quality prostheses, that would really be adapted to the victims’ needs.


Humanitarian crisis in DRC

Furthermore, Belgium plans on disbursing funds in reaction to the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Indeed, an additional 6 million of euros will go to humanitarian aid in that country, making a grand total of 14.5 million invested this year. This budget is allocated to humanitarian organizations present in the area: the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Red Cross.

As a reminder, it is an internal conflict in Kasai, extended to other regions, that caused this humanitarian crisis. This conflict provokes  a massive population displacement, putting food security at risk and quickening the spreading of diseases.

The reaction is therefore double: Belgium is investing in the development of humanitarian efficiency, and is mobilizing funds to tackle a current humanitarian crisis. Those funds are a step toward the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals: to insure food security, or to ease access to medical care.

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Humanitarian aid Drone DR Congo Belgian Development Cooperation
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