WASHINGTON, May 14, 2015 — The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA)* credit of US$15 million to support the social and economic reintegration of demobilized ex-combatants in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to help rebuild communities and families and to support the ongoing peace consolidation process.
The DRC has yet to emerge from decades of armed conflicts and mismanagement that have devastated its economy and people. Since 1998, approximately 5.4 million people have died, while millions of others have moved into a state of acute and chronic vulnerability due to displacement, the breakdown of communal and social bonds, and the loss of livelihoods.
“A new phase of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration in DRC is urgently needed to normalize the security environment,” said Moustapha Ndiaye, the World Bank Country Director for DRC. “The project’s contribution towards the consolidation of peace and stability in eastern DRC will contribute towards improving stability, food security, and access to goods and basic services for the civilian population in conflict-affected areas.”
Today’s financing supports the DRC Reinsertion and Reintegration Project that will support reinsertion activities to provide foundational skills for ex-combatants as they begin the transition to civilian life. These activities, such as vocational and life skill coaching, career and entrepreneurial guidance, and psychosocial support, will be community-based to ensure a broad and sustainable impact. The existing Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program (TDRP) Trust Fund will provide US$6.5 million to the total project cost of US$21.5 million.
About 4,700 former combatants and their family members are already in demobilization camps, but there is an urgent need to follow their care with reinsertion and sensitization activities to prepare for reintegration in their communities. The project will support female ex-combatants with the same activities, while a gender sensitive lens will be applied throughout the program’s implementation. Vulnerable populations including children, the chronically ill, and disabled ex-combatants with also receive targeted attention.
“Years of conflict have affected thousands of combatants as well as spouses and children who have similarly been subjected or witness to violence and conflict in DRC,” said Abderrahim Fraiji, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “The reintegration activities in today’s project will help increase socio-economic opportunities in targeted conflict-affected areas and help build productive, resilient communities by involving ex-combatants and their spouses and children, as well as community members and vulnerable groups.”