Funding for humanitarian and development plan in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is worth over $1 billion has been put on hold by the World Bank following the project fund termination by the government without prior notice.
In a letter seen by Reuters, a news publication, the suspension will impact over 600,000 beneficiaries including sexual violence victims, as told by the World Bank to Congo’s finance minister in the previous week of which the credibility was confirmed by a World Bank spokesperson.
It was also stated in the letter that the bank was awaiting the condition of the documentation of $91 million which, out of the sum of $1.04 billion had already been advanced.
Felix Tshisekedi, Congolese president, on the 4th of May terminated the structure tagged the ‘Social Fund of the Democratic Republic of Congo’ and generated another public fund by presidential command.
Based on his statement, the modification was due to ‘the evolution of the legal framework governing public institutions’.
Albert Zeufack, the World Bank’s director of operations for Congo, in the letter noted as 12th of May, he mentioned that the institution had made a discovery of the decision in the press.
Tina Salama, presidential spokesperson, refuted any funding suspension and stated that there would be provisional management of the fund. Although, no response was given by her to questions on the $91 million.
Panzi Foundation, led by Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist and winner of the 2018 Novel Peace Prize for his work with victims of sexual violence, is one of the beneficiaries of the fund.
There were suspicions of misuse by four of Congo’s main opposition politicians who wrote to the heads of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the African Development Bank in the previous week requesting for an audit of their funds in the country.