The Huffington Post recently featured an editorial by Jim Yong Kim and Ban-Ki Moon, the leaders of the World Bank and the United Nations, respectively. In it, then men discuss the need for adherence to a recent peace agreement in Africa’s Great Lakes region, calling it the “best chance for peace and economic development in many years.” The plan, entitled the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region, has resulted in these leaders traveling to the Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to promote peace and the programs which are in place to preserve it.
Kim and Moon include a litany of travesties which currently befall the DRC:
- An astounding 70 percent of people in the DRC live on less than $1.25 a day
- More than 7 million children — one-third of those who should be in school — lack access to education
- Some 2.4 million children are acutely malnourished
- Malaria, cholera and measles are a major threat due to inadequate health care, water supplies and sanitation
- Some 6.3 million people require food support.
- Sexual violence continues at appalling levels throughout the country
- More than 3 million Congolese have fled their homes for safety, including 2.6 million displaced inside DRC and 450,000 refugees in neighbouring countries.
These leaders call upon their fellow decision makers in countries that face destabilizing security situations as well as untenable development traps. By first ensuring peace and stability, countries like the DRC can be helped out of the self-defeating spiral of bad governance and intractable conflict. The youth and the unemployed can find jobs which provide healthy alternatives to the desperate actions of thieves and radicals.
The Millennium Development Goals provide a framework which the DRC can follow in order to improve everyday life for all its citizens, for now and for years to come. Jim Yong Kim and Ban-Ki Moon recognize the importance of investing in the future as early as possible, and that is why they are presently working so hard to create prosperity in the African Great Lakes region, as well as around the entire world.
— Jake Simon