Canadian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ginette Martin, recently traveled to Haut-Katanga province where she visited activities implemented by WFP with funding from the Government of Canada. Upon Ms. Ginette's return to Kinshasa, the DRC capital, we caught up with her to get her impressions of the mission.
Q/ Madame Ambassador, you recently visited Kibangu health centre in ex-Katanga province to see activities to combat malnutrition that are funded by Canada. What were your impressions?
R/ It was my first opportunity to visit a project focussed on malnutrition, a sad occurrence in too many parts of this country that should otherwise be a land of plenty. I found it very interesting and gratifying to see first-hand the interaction between the different players involved and the community and to see that our funding is clearly producing results. I especially appreciated the careful thought put into implementing integrated strategies that should help ensure sustainability, including improved food eating and harvesting habits.
Madame the Ambassador with the nurse in chief of the Kibangu health centre. Photo © WFP/Françoise Kanam
Q/ What are your thoughts on WFP’s collaboration with local and international aid organisations?
R/ I was very impressed with the level of dedication demonstrated by all the parties involved in supporting this effort to end malnutrition in these communities. The good results are clearly linked to the excellent integrated communication and implementation strategies put in place.
Q/ Did you have the opportunity to talk to any of the recipients of assistance?
R/ I did have the opportunity to interact with beneficiaries and welcome appreciation of the efforts put in place to assist them in becoming healthier mothers and have healthier children. They are clearly concerned that the progress made is not lost and their requests for increased income generation and literacy opportunities reflect their understanding, a significant result in itself of the programme, that they must take charge of their lives. I encourage the local authorities to consider their needs as they move forward with socio-economic development plans for the province.
Welcome word from the community of Kibangu photo © WFP/Françoise Kanam
Q/ Canada is one of our most valuable donors. What are the future prospects of Canada and WFP collaboration in DRC?
R/ WFP is a major partner for Canada globally. Given the needs in the DRC, I expect that Canada will continue to turn to the WFP to help deliver the same results that I saw at the Kibungu Health Clinic. Of course, we all hope that a time will come when the DRC is able to meet the basic needs of its population and create the conditions for increased prosperity overall, but meanwhile Canada will continue to work with valued partners such as the WFP to help the most vulnerable communities in this country.