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Congo, The Democratic Republic
An officer of the World Food Programme (WFP) gives food ration to a resident of a camp of the Internally Displaced Persons in Kibati. Demining teams use bomb sniffing dogs to find unexploded landmines in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Congo, The Democratic Republic Overview


The Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) commenced its engagement in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2009, to support the Government’s Programme for the Reconstruction of areas of armed-conflict in the East (STAREC) and the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS). With its financing, the Fund aims to incentivize close alignment between MONUSCO and the UN Country Team in support of a common approach with Government. The most recent financing to DRC is linked to the second phase of ISSSS and the approval by the Government in April 2015 of the three provincial stabilisation strategies and action plans. The PBF support is targeted to three provinces in the East: North and South Kivu and Province Orientale.  For its 2015 financing, PBF employed an innovative matching financing approach in order to catalyse more support for the pooled fund for the ISSSS:  for every $3 dollars other donors have committed, the Fund offered to contribute and additional $1. This resulted in a total capitalisation of the Stabilisation Coherence Fund in its first year of $25 million, from PBF, UK, Netherlands and Norway. The Fund has now been established with most structures and processes agreed and programming has started and is expected to ramp up in the second half of 2016.

Period and total funding in US$ of PBF support:

Became eligible for PBF support in 2009 through a declaration by the UN Secretary-General.

2009: $20 million for the first Priority Plan (PRF)

2014: $8 million (two IRF projects)

2015: $12 million for the Second Priority Plan (PRF)

Total = $40 million

Focus of PBF support:

The first Priority Plan, approved in 2009, focused on five strategic areas, in support of the ISSSS, in the three eastern provinces: (i) security and protection of civilians, including professionalization of the government defense forces; (ii) demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and groups at risk; (iii) re-establishment of state authority, especially justice, prisons and police services; (iv) support to local and community initiatives of reconciliation and peace dividends; and (v) coordination and capacity building in the area of peacebuilding (with the focus on the STAREC program and team).

The two IRF projects (one in South Kivu province and the other in Province Orientale) were approved at the end of 2014 with the aim to kick-start the implementation of the revised ISSSS, along the ISSSS pillars of (i) democratic dialogue; (ii) security; (iii) restoration of state authority; (iv) return, reintegration and socio-economic recovery; and (v) fight against sexual violence. This would enable early programming to start and lessons to be learned while the rest of the processes and structures were put in place for the Stabilisation Coherence Fund to function.

The second Priority Plan, approved in July 2015, following the two early IRFs, supports the revised ISSSS and the Government’s Provincial Stabilisation Strategies and Action Plans, approved by the Government following detailed conflict analysis in 13 priority zones in the east. It is again focussed on supporting the five pillars of the ISSSS. However, in difference to the usual Priority Plans, the DRC one is fully aligned to the ISSSS and does not pre-determine which results or geographic zones will be supported. This is being decided in line with the ISSSS coordination and governance mechanisms being set up for all the ISSSS support, including that of PBF. In addition, in order to further incentivise faster donor commitments and kick-start the new Stabilisation Coherence Trust Fund, the second Priority Plan provided a funding incentive, committing to provide an additional $1 million for every $3 million of commitments to ISSSS by other donors by 15 August 2015 (in addition to the initial $8 million). Following the August 2015 letter of serious intent to provide funds of $12 million by DFID and the Dutch through the Stabilisation Coherence Fund, and citing the PBF incentive, PBSO approved a further $4 million, bringing the total of the Priority Plan to $12 million.  With the later contribution from Norway, the total multi-donor contribution to the Stabilisation Coherence Fund in 2015 was $25 million.  In July 2015, the local Funding Board allocated the first $8 million as follows: $1 million for coordination and monitoring support around ISSSS; $5 million for a stabilisation project in the area of Kitchanga, North Kivu, and $2 million for initiatives around the dialogue pillar of ISSSS. $2 million out of the $5 million for Kitchanga have been approved for a democratic dialogue initiative in the zone and the contract is being finalised. The rest of the PBF and other donors’ funds are expected to be programmed in the second half of 2016, following the final approval of all the Trust Fund instruments, procedures and structures, which have been the source of consultation with the national stakeholders and donors to ensure inclusive, transparent and effective processes, whilst also being cognisent of the national political environment and responsive to emerging risks.

The following are the current PBF funded projects in DRC:

Project name/ ID One sentence explaining focus Budget Period RUNOs
PBF/IRF-96: AMANI NI NJIA YA MAENDELEO: “La Paix est la voie du Developpment” (DRC) The project provides a holistic package of stabilisation support in the area of Mambasa-Epuli, Niania in Provence Orientale, along the five pillars of the ISSSS, in close collaboration with local partners $4.36 million December 2014 – September 2016 IOM, UN Habitat, UNDP, UNESCO
PBF/IRF-97: Projet integre de stabilisation du Nord Kalehe en Province du Sud Kivu The project provides a holistic package of stabilisation support in the area of Minova-Numbi-Ziralo in South Kivu, along the five pillars of the ISSSS, in close collaboration with local partners. $3.62 million December 2014 – September 2016 IOM, UNDP, UN Habitat
PBF/COD/H-1: Appui au Secretariat Technique conjoint de l’ISSS et du Programme STAREC This project provides capacity support to the Una nd Government’s stabilisation efforts, including through MONUSCO’s Stabilisation Support Unit and the Government’s STAREC program. It also contributes to the functioning of the Technical Secretariat to the Stabilisation Coherence Fund. 1 million February 2016- February 2018 UNDP


Overview of PBF support and results:

In 2009, PBSO allocated $20 million to assist peacebuilding and stabilisation in Eastern DRC, in support of the STAREC and International Security and Stabilisation Support Strategy (ISSSS) priorities, through a package of 13 projects. Through this early allocation PBF provided one of the first sources of funding for the ISSSS in Eastern DRC, enabling the much needed responses to short-lived windows of opportunity. Moreover, PBF funds also helped to catalyse funding from other sources for the ISSSS. The projects were due to finish in 2012, however, were put to a halt and then re-started due to difficult conditions on the ground and re-emergence of armed conflict in several of the project areas, including the 2013 siege of Goma, the capital of North Kivu, by an armed group known as M-23. As a result, most projects were extended till end of 2013, with a few last ones extended till the start of 2015.

In July 2013, an independent evaluation found that the Fund had played an important role in mobilizing attention for the STARECT and ISSSS. The evaluation also found that most projects were relevant to stabilization and peacebuilding priorities of eastern DTC, with just over half of projects achieving their immediate objectives. For example, the PBF supported justice projects resulted in rehabilitation of prisons and peace tribunals in eastern DRC, as well as the Government’s deployment of justice and penitentiary officials into recovered areas of eastern DRC.

Nonetheless, the evaluation also found that the projects did not, overall, make a significant contribution to peace in eastern DRC, just like the broader ISSSS was similarly unsuccessful in that regard. The main issues identified by the evaluation were: the tendency to focus on the short-term problems, rather than root causes of conflict; at times weak national and UN ownership of stabilisation strategies and their results; weak implementation capacity; and lack of sufficient consultation with local stakeholders and regular monitoring. In addition, the continuation of armed combat, the presence of multiple armed groups in the project zones, weak progress with decentralisation, insufficient national Government commitment, and inadequate emphasis on political dialogue with affected communities – all affected the effectiveness of ISSSS, and consequently PBF, implementation.

On the basis of an updated conflict analysis, the MONUSCO and its partners revised the ISSSS over the course of 2013 and 2014, to better support the Government’s STAREC programme. The revised Strategy emphasizes political dialogue, and provides for a multi-sectoral, area-based approach in priority areas in the eastern part of the country, addressing key weaknesses of previous approaches. The support is based along ISSSS pillars of (i) democratic dialogue; (ii) security; (iii) restoration of state authority; (iv) return, reintegration and socio-economic recovery; and (v) fight against sexual violence.

Following the revision of the Strategy, joint development partner/ government/ civil society teams undertook detailed needs assessments in the three provinces, culminating in the identification of 13 priority zones for the stabilisation activities. In the first quarter of 2015, the Government and its partners developed three provincial stabilisation strategies and plans, adapting the ISSSS to each province and its priority zones. The provincial strategies were approved by the Government in April 2015 and now serve as a basis for the next phase of development partner support, including another PBF PRF allocation expected in the first half of 2015.

Following the approval of the provincial stabilisation plans, PBF approved a second Priority Plan, fully aligned to the ISSSS, initially in the amount of $8 million and subsequently an additional $4 million was approved, bringing the total to $12 million. This additional allocation was triggered by the letter of serious intent from DFID and the Dutch to contribute funds to the Stabilisation Coherence Trust Fund, which the PBF Priority Plan was hoping to incentivise as a way to increase and better coordinate stabilisation support to eastern Congo.

In the meantime, the two IRF projects are bearing fruit and will provide important lessons for the programming and implementation of the Stabilisation Coherence trust Fund funding. The projects have made important progress on setting up local dialogue processes, including within communities and between communities and authorities and in some cases armed groups. In Kalehe, the committees for Dialogue and Mediation have succeeded in solving 223 conflicts to date with clear commitments from the opposing parties to observe the conclusions of the mediation process. Both projects have improved the state’s capacity and the conditions required for adequate service delivery, including constructing six police commissariats and rehabilitating a road to improve state access and service provision to underserved areas like Ziralo in South Kivu and also training police agents and civil servants. Consequently, communities reported decreased reliance on armed groups for self-protection and increased recognition of the state as the legitimate service provider. Projects have also helped the communities to better understand the management of the natural resources and to resolve their conflicts on land and resource use peacefully, through strengthened local mechanisms. This has included legalisation of the exploitation of the local mines by the certification of 6 artisanal mining sites, hence ensuring better conditions for the miners. The projects have also helped vulnerable women to get access to protection, including against sexual violence, and to be involved in community discussions and decision making. Moreover, thanks to the project, 1,500 people working around the mining area are currently involved in alternative economic activities.

Key result:

PBF was the first donor to support the second phase of the International Stabilisation and Security Support Strategy (ISSSS) in DRC. Its early support for targeted ISSSS projects in two provinces and its innovative funding ‘matching’ provisions of the current Peacebuilding Priority Plan have accelerated the finalisation and approval of the provincial stabilisation action plans, supported the establishment of the Stabilisation Coherence National and Provincial Boards, accelerated the establishment of the Stabilisation Coherence Trust Fund (due to become operational by end of 2015) and helped to incentivise additional donor funding for stabilisation in the east, at a time when keeping the positive momentum of engagement has been crucial.


Key documents:

pdf Peacebuilding Priority Plan 2015-2017 (FR)

File Size: 234.29 kB | Added: 2015-09-25

pdf PBSO letter of approval of second Peacebuilding Priority Plan

File Size: 610.51 kB | Added: 2015-09-25

pdf PBSO letter of additional funding approval for the second Peacebuilding Priority Plan.

File Size: 70.47 kB | Added: 2015-09-25

pdf PBF supports innovative stabilization efforts in eastern DRC: initial results from two pilot projects

File Size: 772.53 kB | Added: 2017-09-13


Last updated September 2017

Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site

Key Figures

Participating Organizations' 2011 expenditure reports are not yet posted. Expected 30 April of 2012, subject to timely reporting.

Participating Organizations