The relationship between the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

United States Department of State
Office of the spokesperson
August 9, 2022
Information sheet

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he will meet with government leaders and civil society representatives to discuss expanded cooperation on issues such as security in region, respect for human rights, environmental preservation, climate change, and bilateral trade and investment.

  • The relationship between the United States and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is deep and long-standing. The United States then established diplomatic relations with the DRC in 1960, following its independence from Belgium.
  • In April 2019, after President Tshisekedi’s visit to Washington, the United States and the DRC launched the “Preferred Partnership for Peace and Prosperity,” a joint commitment that reflects a closer relationship between the United States and the DRC and a promise of the public to cooperate in areas of mutual interest, including strengthening democratic institutions, promoting respect for human rights, ending impunity, promoting peace in the east of the DRC, as well as the ability to persuade on US trade and investment. In February 2021, given the common focus of the United States and DRC on climate change, a fifth “P”, for “environmental preservation”, was added.
  • With President Tshisekedi, the United States has a strong partner in advancing our shared global priorities, including combating the climate crisis, combating illegal trafficking, responding to multiple security and humanitarian crises, promoting respect for democracy and human rights, securing supply chains of critical minerals needed. for the global transition to cleaner forms of energy, and reducing transnational organized crime.
  • We welcome the renewed commitments of the Congolese government to implement long-promised reforms and to eliminate widespread corruption, which is the cause of instability.
  • The United States and the DRC held the first-ever bilateral human rights dialogue in June 2021 to discuss challenges to freedom of speech, human trafficking, and alleged abuses by security forces. In recognition of the positive steps taken by the country to improve democratic practices and good governance, the DRC participated in the Summit for Democracy in December 2021. We support the actions taken by the Congolese government to consolidate this victories to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law.
  • We are grateful to the Congolese government for co-sponsoring a resolution on minerals and metals management at the United Nations Environment Assembly in February 2022 and look forward to working with the DRC in its implementation.
  • The United States supports the DRC government’s decision to review mining contracts and increase accountability in the sector. We encourage the DRC to continue their collaboration and work on tax transparency, labor rights and compliance with environmental, social and governance standards in the mining sector. The United States has provided more than $30 million in aid to help the DRC promote responsible and sustainable mining practices.
  • We welcome President Tshisekedi’s commitment to protect the forests of the Congo Basin and ensure that the DRC is a “solution country” to the climate crisis. We salute the DRC leadership for organizing the pre-COP27 in Kinshasa. We appreciate your cooperation in protecting our common home.
  • We are sensitive to the regional leadership of President Tshisekedi. As Chairperson of the African Union last year, and through his leadership of other regional organizations, he has demonstrated visionary leadership for the continent.
  • The United States and the DRC have a long and trusted relationship in global health, especially in the fight against Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks, which laid a solid foundation for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from the United States government through USAID and CDC, the DRC has had six EVD outbreaks in the past four years, declaring the last outbreak last July. These US contributions to the EVD response are a natural extension of our long-standing support for Congolese health systems.
  • The United States has provided more than $1.7 billion in health assistance to the DRC over the past 20 years. The DRC is also a partner country of the United States under Intensive Global Health Security Support, which provides a platform for cooperation including zoonoses, workforce development, and laboratory systems.
    The United States supports the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), which plays a critical role in protecting civilians, providing humanitarian assistance, and supporting the DRC government in stabilization and peace-building initiatives. .
  • The United States provided $23.75 million to support elections in the DRC, including strengthening transparency and election administration, improving civic and voter education, empowering people (including women and youth ) the way to participate in elections, and help marginalized communities understand and access political processes. In July, USAID and the State Department announced $2 million and $1 million, respectively, to fund international and domestic election observation. This commitment reflects our desire to see free and fair elections in 2023 with transparent and inclusive electoral processes. In August, USAID provided an additional $10 million to promote peaceful political participation and transparent elections by 2023. This new funding will expand current programs to harder-to-reach areas where the risk of alienation or disenfranchising people and provoking or exacerbating violent conflict is the highest during the period. the 2023 election cycle.
  • The DRC is one of eight new Feed the Future focus countries that will help it develop its own food and agriculture systems.
  • Working with Congress, the United States plans to invest $37 million in development assistance to the DRC to expand access to fertilizer and promote more efficient use due to rising costs, expanding access to social safety net and strengthening nutrition programs, especially for children five.
  • The State Department has committed an additional $6 million to help the DRC improve its criminal justice system, fight corruption, and combat the trafficking of mineral resources and wildlife.
  • On July 13 and 14 in Kinshasa, theRule of Law Initiative of the American Bar Associationa partner of the Department of State, hosted a symposium attended by the Minister of the Interior highlighting the success of a US-funded program in close collaboration with Congolese stakeholders to support life-saving early warning systems for vulnerable communities in five eastern provinces, an initiative. all the more important as MONUSCO continues to withdraw.

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