When one decides to talk about how Africa is riddled with toxic politics and the subsequent underdevelopment, they can easily point to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As incumbent Joseph Kabila refuses adamantly to relinquish power despite mounting pressure, the humanitarian crisis in the conflict-torn country is extremely deepening.
When the politics of a country turns rogue, it is the ordinary citizen who bears the brunt of it all. A top European Union official warned last week that the humanitarian crisis in the country is worsening on several fronts, adding that the problem is being exacerbated by the political crisis in the country where peace and stability have been alien and abstract concepts.
It is now 15 months since Kabila's mandate as president expires but he still is in power citing electoral problems that need to be fixed first. The crisis situation is particularly acute in the central Kasai region and the eastern provinces of Kivu and Ituri.
A UN report earlier this month found some 13 million Congolese in need of humanitarian aid - twice as many as last year - and 7.7 million are facing severe food insecurity, which is an increase of 30 percent over 2017.
The government is locked in a denial mode as they refuse to acknowledge how dire the situation is for the citizens. Kinshasa is refusing to attend an international donor conference scheduled for April in Geneva that seeks to put together a $1.7 billion (1.4 billion euros) aid package.
Last year, it was reported that 400,000 children were at risk of dying in the central diamond-rich Kasai region, which has been devastated by fighting. So far at least 3,000 people have died and about 1.4 million have been displaced in the country, which has a long history of conflict and crisis.
The EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, Christos Stylianides, spoke of how the situation is bad in the country. "The humanitarian situation is getting worse day by day, and unfortunately I saw enormous suffering, enormous humanitarian needs and the situation in the country is not business as usual." The EU has categorized the crisis as a Level 3 crisis, the organization's highest-level emergency.
The obstinacy of the government remains a striking feature through this malaise that is hindering the prospects of necessary intervention. Prime Minister Jose Makila dismissed such concerns, saying the UN had overreacted and that aid organizations in the country were propagating a "bad image of the Democratic Republic of Congo throughout the world."
For the government, the figures put forth by aid organizations, the EU and the UN are not accurate. The government said it wouldn't cooperate with international aid organizations unless they adjusted their figures to coincide with its own.