In many Congolese regions, the civil population is suffering bitterly from fighting between government troops and various rebel militias. It is almost impossible to live in peace.
In the eastern provinces like North Kivu for example, the rebels of the armed group M23 are active. Violent conflicts shape everyday life in the second largest country of Africa.
More than two million people flee from one crisis region to the next, and repeatedly have to start all over again. The situation remains difficult and unpredictable, with no prospects for the future. By necessity, many Congolese slip into crime, work illegally in mines or join one of the rebel groups.
Schools, roads, medical facilities: much has been destroyed by decades of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and this applies both to the majority of infrastructure and to trust in state structures. This is where the KfW Peace Fund comes into play.
Since 2007 and on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW Development Bank has supported the population of the country to the tune of 76.6 Million Euro together with the Congolese government.
Working together with non-governmental organisations and local initiatives, infrastructure projects are financed that enable people to earn their own incomes, improve their living standards, and experience the direct benefits of community life without violence.
The commitment of the German government is thus designed to create prospects for them to have a future in their own country.
According to Karin Derflinger, who headed up the KfW Office in the capital of Kinshasa for four years until autumn 2017, the main challenge is complying with the “Do-No-Harm” approach, which means selecting suitable projects that do not give preference to individual interest or ethnic groups.
Measures therefore had to be designed in a manner that was “sensitive to conflicts”, by involving local people for example. They can gauge what the people really need, and they know the motives of the individual groups. This means further conflicts can be identified early and contained.