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entitled 'The Democratic Republic Of The Congo: Systematic Assessment 
Is Needed to Determine Agencies' Progress toward U.S. Policy 
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Report to Congress: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

December 2007: 

The Democratic Republic Of The Congo: 

Systematic Assessment Is Needed to Determine Agencies' Progress toward 
U.S. Policy Objectives: 

GAO-08-188: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-188, a report to Congress. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

In enacting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Relief, 
Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006 (the Act), Congress 
established 15 U.S. policy objectives to address the DRCís 
humanitarian, development, economic and natural resource, governance, 
and security issues and mandated that GAO review actions taken by U.S. 
agencies to achieve these objectives. In this report, GAO identifies 
(1) U.S. programs and activities that support the Actís objectives, (2) 
major challenges hindering the accomplishment of the objectives, and 
(3) U.S. efforts to assess progress toward the objectives. GAO obtained 
and analyzed agenciesí program documents and met with officials of 
agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) active in the DRC. 

What GAO Found: 

U.S. programs and activities support the Actís policy objectives. In 
fiscal years 2006 and 2007, respectively, the Departments of 
Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, State, and the 
Treasury and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) 
allocated $217.9 million and $181.5 million for the DRC. About 70 
percent of the funds were allocated for programs that support the Actís 
humanitarian and social development objectives, while the remainder was 
allocated for programs and activities that support the Actís economic, 
governance, and security objectives. Although U.S. agencies have not 
acted on the Actís objective of bilaterally urging nations contributing 
peacekeeping troops to prosecute abusive peacekeepers, U.S. 
multilateral actions address this issue. 

The DRCís unstable security situation, weak governance, mismanagement 
of its vast natural resources, and lack of infrastructure are major 
interrelated challenges that impede efforts to achieve the Actís policy 
objectives. For example, the unstable security situation in the eastern 
DRC has worsened humanitarian and social problems and forced U.S. and 
NGO staff to curtail some efforts. The lack of roads has prevented 
deliveries of needed aid. DRCís weak governance structures prevent the 
country from meeting the requirements for debt relief and discourage 
private-sector investment, thus hindering economic growth. 

The U.S. government has not established a process for systematically 
assessing its progress toward achieving the Actís policy objectives. 
While some U.S. agencies collect information about their respective 
activities in the DRC, no mechanism exists for assessing overall 
progress. State and USAID are developing a joint planning and budgeting 
process that may eventually assess all U.S. foreign assistance. 
However, Stateís Director of Foreign Assistance has yet to complete the 
fiscal year 2007 DRC operations plan, which does not include a 
comprehensive assessment of the collective impact of State and USAID 
programs and does not address activities funded by other agencies. 
While a National Security Council-sponsored interagency group discusses 
DRC policies and helps coordinate some activities, it does not include 
several relevant agencies and, according to key officials, does not 
systematically assess progress in the DRC. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of State, through the Director of 
Foreign Assistance, work with the heads of the other U.S. agencies 
implementing programs in the DRC to develop a plan for systematically 
assessing the extent to which the U.S. government is making progress in 
achieving the Actís policy objectives. The Department of State endorsed 
our recommendation. Several U.S. agencies provided technical comments 
that were incorporated, as appropriate. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
[hyperlink, http://www.GAO-08-188]. For more information, contact David 
Gootnick at (202) 512-3149 or gootnickd@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

U.S. Programs and Activities Support the Act's Policy Objectives: 

Major Challenges in the DRC Impede Efforts to Achieve the Act's Policy 
Objectives: 

U.S. Government Has Not Assessed Its Overall Progress toward Achieving 
the Act's Policy Objectives: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendation for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Examples of Programs by Policy Objective Category: 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of State: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Policy Objectives in the DRC Relief, Security, and Democracy 
Promotion Act of 2006, by Category: 

Table 2: U.S. Agencies' Funding Allocations for the DRC by Category: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: 

Figure 2: Allocation of U.S. Funding for the DRC by Agency, Fiscal 
Years 2006-2007: 

Figure 3: Allocation of U.S. Funding for the DRC by Category, Fiscal 
Years 2006-2007: 

Abbreviations: 

Act: DRC Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

DFA: Director of Foreign Assistance: 

DOL: Department of Labor: 

DRC: Democratic Republic of the Congo: 

EITI: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: 

HHS: Department of Health and Human Services: 

HIPC: Heavily Indebted Poor Country: 

IMF: International Monetary Fund: 

NGO: nongovernmental organization: 

NSC: National Security Council: 

OFDA: Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance: 

OPIC: Overseas Private Investment Corporation: 

UN: United Nations: 

USAID: United States Agency for International Development: 

USDA: Department of Agriculture: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

December 14, 2007: 

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden Jr.: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Foreign Relations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Tom Lantos: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Foreign Affairs: 
House of Representatives: 

Because of its large size, central location in sub-Saharan Africa, and 
abundant natural resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) 
is important to the stability of central Africa and is of long-term 
interest to the United States. However, since achieving independence in 
1960, the DRC--one of the world's poorest countries--has suffered from 
despotic rule, underdevelopment, economic problems, and conflicts with 
neighboring countries that resulted in the deaths of an estimated 3.9 
million Congolese within the past decade. Government and other armed 
forces also committed abuses against thousands of Congolese women and 
girls. According to the U.S. Department of State, Western nations 
provided the DRC with considerable aid during the Cold War era, but 
support for the DRC fell in the early 1990s owing to concerns about 
human rights abuses and the need for internal reforms. 

U.S. aid to the DRC began to increase again in 2001, following the 
initiation of peace talks that led first to the withdrawal of foreign 
armies and then to the installation of a transitional DRC government in 
2003. Subsequently, the U.S. President stated that the United States 
would work closely with the transitional government to promote "peace, 
prosperity and democracy" for all Congolese people. The transition 
process culminated in the December 6, 2006, inauguration of the DRC's 
first democratically elected president in more than 40 years. Following 
the DRC elections, on December 22, 2006, Congress enacted the DRC 
Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006 (the 
Act).[Footnote 1] The Act established 15 policy objectives aimed at 
addressing a range of concerns regarding humanitarian, social 
development, economic and natural resource, governance, and security 
issues in the DRC.[Footnote 2] Also, it stated the Secretary of State 
should withhold certain assistance to the DRC if the Secretary 
determined that the DRC was not making sufficient progress toward 
accomplishing these policy objectives. The Act mandated that GAO review 
actions taken by U.S. agencies to achieve the Act's policy objectives. 

In this report, we identify (1) U.S. programs and activities that 
support the Act's objectives, (2) major impediments hindering 
accomplishment of these objectives, and (3) U.S. efforts to assess 
progress toward accomplishing the objectives. Because the Act directed 
us to review actions taken by U.S. agencies to achieve its objectives, 
we focused on the fiscal year in which the Act was enacted, and also 
considered the fiscal year before its enactment to provide context. In 
conducting our work, we analyzed policy, planning, budget, and 
programming documents describing U.S. policies and programs in the DRC 
provided by key U.S. agencies--the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), 
Defense (DOD), Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), State, and 
the Treasury; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); and 
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). We identified 
the amount of funding each agency allocated for its DRC programs in 
fiscal years 2006 and 2007; we did not determine the extent to which 
each agency obligated or expended its allocated funds. We also met with 
representatives from each of these agencies, the National Security 
Council (NSC), nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and other 
organizations with expertise on DRC-related issues. To identify key 
challenges hindering the accomplishment of the Act's policy objectives, 
we analyzed relevant policy and program documents; interviewed U.S. 
agency officials; conducted a round-table session with a nonprobability 
sample of 11 NGOs with a broad range of experience and expertise 
implementing programs and projects in the DRC; and interviewed 
representatives from other organizations with experience in the DRC. To 
examine U.S. efforts to assess progress toward accomplishing the Act's 
policy objectives and to make decisions regarding additional actions, 
we reviewed U.S. agency assessments and implementation documents. 
Although we did not travel to the DRC, we conducted several telephone 
interviews with U.S. embassy and USAID mission staff located in the 
DRC. We performed our work from May 2007 to December 2007 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. (See app. I for 
a more detailed description of our scope and methodology.) 

Results in Brief: 

U.S. programs and activities support the Act's policy objectives. In 
fiscal years 2006 and 2007, respectively, U.S. agencies--USDA, DOD, 
HHS, DOL, State, the Treasury, and USAID--allocated a total of about 
$217.9 million and $181.5 million for the DRC. About 70 percent of the 
funds were allocated for programs that support the Act's humanitarian 
and social development objectives, while the remainder was allocated 
for programs and activities that support the Act's economic, 
governance, and security objectives. For example, USAID is providing 
humanitarian assistance that includes emergency supplies, food, and 
water and sanitation improvements to vulnerable populations. Treasury 
has worked to provide the DRC with interim debt relief. State is 
working to provide training and other assistance aimed at 
professionalizing members of the DRC's military. Although the agencies 
have not acted on the Act's policy objective of working bilaterally to 
urge nations contributing peacekeeping troops to prosecute abusive 
troops, U.S. multilateral actions address this issue. 

U.S., NGO, and other officials and experts identified several major 
challenges that are impeding U.S. efforts to achieve the Act's policy 
objectives, including (1) an unstable security situation, (2) weak 
governance and widespread corruption, (3) mismanagement of natural 
resources, and (4) lack of basic infrastructure. These challenges are 
interrelated and can negatively impact progress in multiple areas. For 
example, the unstable security situation in the eastern DRC has 
worsened humanitarian and social problems, while forcing U.S. and NGO 
staff to curtail some efforts. The lack of roads has prevented 
deliveries of critically needed humanitarian assistance. Similarly, 
corruption and other governance problems have hindered efforts to 
provide roads and other needed infrastructure, which impedes the 
efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance. Moreover, the DRC's weak 
governance structures prevent the country from meeting the requirements 
for badly needed debt relief, as well as discourage private-sector 
investment, thus hindering economic growth. 

The U.S. government has not established a process for systematically 
assessing its progress toward achieving the Act's policy objectives. 
Some of the agencies we reviewed collect information about their 
respective activities in the DRC; for example, two USAID Office of 
Foreign Disaster Assistance program officers regularly visit project 
sites in the DRC and publish quarterly reports of the office's 
activities. However, although we identified two executive branch 
mechanisms for coordinating some of the agencies' activities in the 
DRC, no mechanism exists for assessing overall U.S. progress. State and 
USAID have begun to develop a joint planning and budgeting process 
that, according to State officials, may eventually assess all U.S. 
foreign assistance. However, State's Director of Foreign Assistance 
(DFA) has yet to finalize the DFA plan for operations in the DRC during 
fiscal year 2007, which ended on September 30, 2007. As of February 
2007, the draft plan was incomplete, consisting of a listing of 
individual programs that did not include a systematic assessment of the 
collective impact of State and USAID efforts during fiscal year 2007. 
In addition, the DFA draft plan did not address activities funded by 
other agencies, including DOD, the Treasury, and HHS, although the DFA 
plan may eventually include other agencies to some degree. The NSC has 
established an interagency group, including State, Defense, and the 
Treasury, to help discuss policies and approaches to addressing the 
challenges in the DRC and coordinate certain agencies' activities. 
However, the group does not include several relevant agencies, such as 
DOL, HHS, or USDA, in its discussions of policies and approaches and, 
according to NSC and State officials, does not systematically assess 
U.S. progress in the DRC. 

To provide a basis for informed decisions regarding U.S. allocations 
for assistance in the DRC as well as any needed bilateral or 
multilateral actions, we are recommending that the Secretary of State, 
through the Director of Foreign Assistance, work with the heads of the 
other U.S. agencies implementing programs in the DRC to develop a plan 
for systematically assessing the extent to which the U.S. government as 
a whole is making progress in achieving the Act's policy objectives. 

We requested comments on a draft of this report from the Secretaries of 
Agriculture, Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, State, and the 
Treasury; from the Administrator of USAID; and from the Director of 
Congressional Relations of OPIC. We received written comments from 
State, which are reprinted in appendix III. State commented that it 
endorsed our recommendation and noted that our recommendation would 
likely be met as DFA's joint planning and budgeting processes are 
extended to include all U.S. agencies engaged in the DRC. In addition, 
State provided specific comments which we have incorporated as 
appropriate in this report. We also received technical comments on our 
draft report from Defense, HHS, Labor, the Treasury, and USAID, which 
we have incorporated as appropriate. 

Background: 

The DRC's size, location, and wealth of natural resources contribute to 
its importance to U.S. interests in the region. With an area of more 
than 900,000 square miles, the DRC is roughly the size of the United 
States east of the Mississippi River. Located in the center of Africa, 
the DRC borders nine nations (see fig. 1). Its abundant natural 
resources, which constitute its primary export products, include 34 
percent of world cobalt reserves; 10 percent of world copper reserves; 
64 percent of world coltan reserves; and significant amounts of wood, 
oil, coffee, diamonds, gold, cassiterite, and other minerals.[Footnote 
3] In addition, rain forests in the DRC provide 8 percent of world 
carbon reserves.[Footnote 4] The DRC has a population of 58 million to 
65 million people, including members of more than 200 ethnic groups. 

Figure 1: Map of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

The DRC has had a turbulent history. In 1965, fewer than 5 years after 
the nation achieved its independence from Belgium, a military regime 
seized control of the DRC and ruled, often brutally, for more than 
three decades. It was toppled in 1997 by a coalition of internal groups 
and neighboring countries to the east, including Rwanda and Uganda, 
after dissident Rwandan groups began operating in the DRC. Subsequent 
efforts by a new DRC government to secure the withdrawal of Rwandan and 
Ugandan troops prompted a second war in 1998 that eventually drew the 
armies of three more African nations into the DRC. According to the 
International Rescue Committee, this second war resulted in an 
estimated 3.9 million deaths. Beginning in 1999, a United Nations (UN) 
peacekeeping force was deployed to the DRC. After a series of peace 
talks, the other nations withdrew all or most of their troops and an 
interim government was established. Elections held in 2006 with 
logistical support provided by UN peacekeepers culminated in the 
December 6, 2006, inauguration of the DRC's first democratically 
elected president in more than 40 years. 

Partially as a result of this turbulent history, the DRC suffers from a 
wide range of problems, including acute poverty. The DRC is one of the 
poorest and least developed countries in the world. It was ranked 167th 
of 177 nations surveyed by the UN Development Program in terms of life 
expectancy, education, and standard of living, and its ranking on these 
measures has declined more than 10 percent over the past decade. The 
current life expectancy is 43 years, in part because the DRC suffers 
from high rates of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. According to 
USAID, more than 2 of every 10 children born in the DRC die before 
their fifth birthday (owing in part to chronic malnutrition and low 
vaccination rates), and the maternal death rate is the world's highest. 
Congolese women also suffer from the effects of rampant sexual attacks 
and other forms of gender-based violence against women, particularly in 
the eastern regions of the country. A UN expert reported in July 2007 
that widespread atrocities against women in one eastern DRC province 
constituted the worst crisis of sexual violence that the expert had yet 
encountered. An international group of donor nations recently concluded 
that the DRC's educational system is failing and in a state of crisis. 
Most rural children do not attend school at all, in part because their 
parents cannot afford to pay school fees. As a result of such problems, 
the Fund for Peace ranked the DRC second on its "failed states" scale, 
after Sudan. 

The DRC's economic prospects are uncertain. It once derived about 75 
percent of its export revenues and 25 percent of its gross domestic 
product from its natural resources, but wars and turmoil have reduced 
its economy to dependence on subsistence agriculture and informal 
activities. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that as of 
2001, the DRC's per capita gross domestic product had contracted to 
$100 from a preindependence level of $400, in constant dollars. 
Although the DRC's gross domestic product grew at an average rate of 
5.5 percent from 2002 through 2005, growth has recently slowed. Also, 
the DRC's prospects are encumbered by an external debt load of around 
$8 billion.[Footnote 5] The value of this debt--which represents more 
than 90 percent of the DRC's gross domestic product, 300 percent of its 
exports, and 700 percent of its government's revenues--is three times 
greater than the level of debt that the World Bank and the IMF consider 
sustainable. The DRC has not fully qualified for debt relief under the 
enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative.[Footnote 6] 

The DRC receives assistance from an array of donor nations and 
organizations. During 2004 and 2005, the 10 largest donors to the DRC 
were the World Bank's International Development Association, the 
European Commission, Japan, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United 
States, France, Germany, the IMF, and the Netherlands. The World Bank 
is preparing a country assistance strategy to support the DRC's 2007- 
2010 poverty-reduction goals. The United States and 16 other donor 
nations and organizations are contributing to the World Bank's effort 
by preparing a country assistance framework document that assesses the 
major challenges facing the DRC and identifies major areas for donor 
focus. Some donor nations and organizations have also begun an effort 
to coordinate assistance for reforming the DRC's troubled army, police, 
and judiciary. 

According to the Department of State, the United States' goal for its 
assistance to the DRC is to strengthen the process of internal 
reconciliation and democratization to promote a stable, developing, and 
democratic DRC. The Department of State has also reported that the 
United States is seeking to ensure that the DRC professionalizes its 
security forces and is at peace; develops democratic institutions; 
supports private-sector economic growth and achieves macroeconomic 
stability; meets the basic needs of its people; and, with its 
international partners, provides relief in humanitarian crises. As 
described by the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. 
policy is to support--but not lead--the efforts of the DRC to address 
its problems. 

In October 2006, continued violence and armed conflict in the eastern 
DRC led the President of the United States to issue an executive order 
blocking the property of certain persons contributing to the conflict 
in the DRC.[Footnote 7] In October 2006, the President reiterated the 
United States' commitment to the goal of creating a prosperous 
Congolese democracy. In October 2007, the President, meeting with the 
newly elected president of the DRC, again cited the importance of 
democracy and economic growth in the DRC and noted the need for 
progress on security and health issues. 

Section 102 of the DRC Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 
2006 includes 15 U.S. policy objectives for the DRC. Table 1 presents 
these objectives in five categories of assistance--emergency 
humanitarian, social development, economic and natural resources, 
governance, and security. 

Table 1: Policy Objectives in the DRC Relief, Security, and Democracy 
Promotion Act of 2006, by Category: 

Policy objective: Help promote, reinvigorate, and support the political 
process in the DRC to press all parties in the Transitional National 
Government and the succeeding government to implement fully and to 
institutionalize mechanisms, including national and international 
election observers, fair and transparent voter registration procedures, 
and a significant civic awareness and public education campaign created 
for the July 30, 2006, elections and future elections in the DRC to 
ensure that elections are carried out in a fair and democratic manner. 
Category: Governance. 

Policy objective: Urge the DRC to recognize and act upon its 
responsibilities to immediately bring discipline to its security 
forces, hold those individuals responsible for atrocities and other 
human rights violations, particularly the rape of women and girls as an 
act of war, accountable and bring such individuals to justice. 
Category: Governance and security. 

Policy objective: Help ensure that, once a stable national government 
is established in the DRC, it is committed to multiparty democracy, 
open and transparent governance, respect for human rights and religious 
freedom, ending the violence throughout the country, promoting peace 
and stability with its neighbors, rehabilitating the national judicial 
system and enhancing the rule of law, combating corruption, instituting 
economic reforms to promote development, and creating an environment to 
promote private investment. 
Category: Governance and economic/natural resources. 

Policy objective: Assist the DRC as it seeks to meet the basic needs of 
its citizens, including security, safety, and access to health care, 
education, food, shelter, and clean drinking water. 
Category: Humanitarian, social development, and security. 

Policy objective: Support security sector reform by assisting the DRC 
to establish a viable and professional national army and police force 
that respects human rights and the rule of law, is under effective 
civilian control, and possesses a viable presence throughout the entire 
country, provided the DRC meets all requirements for US military 
assistance under existing law. 
Category: Security. 

Policy objective: Help expedite planning and implementation of programs 
associated with the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, 
reintegration, and rehabilitation process in the DRC. 
Category: Security. 

Policy objective: Support efforts of the DRC, the UN peacekeeping 
force, and other entities, as appropriate, to disarm, demobilize, and 
repatriate the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and other 
illegally armed groups. 
Category: Security. 

Policy objective: Make all efforts to ensure that the DRC (a) is 
committed to responsible and transparent management of natural 
resources across the country; and (b) takes active measures to (i) 
promote economic development; (ii) hold accountable individuals who 
illegally exploit the country's natural resources; and (iii) implement 
the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by enacting laws 
requiring disclosure and independent auditing of company payments and 
government receipts for natural resource extraction. 
Category: Economic/natural resources. 

Policy objective: Promote a viable civil society and enhance NGOs and 
institutions, including religious organizations, the media, political 
parties, trade unions, and trade and business associations, that can 
act as a stabilizing force and effective check on the government. 
Category: Governance. 

Policy objective: Help rebuild and enhance infrastructure, 
communications, and other mechanisms that will increase the ability of 
the central government to manage internal affairs, encourage economic 
development, and facilitate relief efforts of humanitarian 
organizations. 
Category: Humanitarian and social development. 

Policy objective: Help halt high prevalence of sexual abuse and 
violence perpetrated against women and children in the DRC and mitigate 
the detrimental effects from acts of this type of violence by 
undertaking health, education, and psychosocial support programs. 
Category: Social development. 

Policy objective: Work aggressively on a bilateral basis to urge 
governments of countries contributing troops to the UN peacekeeping 
force to enact and enforce laws on trafficking in persons and sexual 
abuse that meet international standards, promote codes of conduct for 
troops serving as part of UN peacekeeping missions, and immediately 
investigate and punish citizens who are responsible for abuses in the 
DRC. 
Category: Security. 

Policy objective: Assist the DRC as it undertakes steps to (a) protect 
internally displaced persons and refugees in the DRC and border regions 
from all forms of violence, including gender-based violence and other 
human rights abuses; (b) address other basic needs of vulnerable 
populations with the goal of allowing these conflict-affected 
individuals to ultimately return to their homes; and (c) assess the 
magnitude of the problem of orphans from conflict and HIV/AIDS in the 
DRC, and work to establish a program of national support. 
Category: Security, social development, and humanitarian. 

Policy objective: Engage with governments working to promote peace and 
security throughout the DRC and hold accountable individuals, entities, 
and countries working to destabilize the country. 
Category: Security. 

Policy objective: Promote appropriate use of the forests of the DRC in 
a manner that benefits the rural population in that country that 
depends on the forests for their livelihoods and protects national and 
environmental interests. 
Category: Economic/natural resource management. 

Source: GAO analysis of the DRC Relief, Security, and Democracy 
Promotion Act of 2006. 

[End of table] 

The National Security Council has established an interagency working 
group to focus attention on issues affecting the Great Lakes region of 
central Africa, which encompasses the DRC. The group meets bimonthly 
and includes officials from DOD, State, USAID, and Treasury. Its 
mission is to establish a coordinated approach, policies, and actions 
to address issues (such as security) in the DRC and other countries in 
the region. 

To ensure that foreign assistance, including assistance provided to the 
DRC, is used as effectively as possible to meet broad foreign policy 
objectives, the Secretary of State in 2006 appointed a Director of 
Foreign Assistance (DFA), who also serves as the Administrator of 
USAID. The DFA is charged with: 

* developing a coordinated U.S. government foreign assistance strategy, 
including multiyear country-specific assistance strategies and annual 
country-specific assistance operational plans; 

* creating and directing consolidated policy, planning, budget, and 
implementation mechanisms and staff functions required to provide 
umbrella leadership to foreign assistance; and: 

* providing guidance to foreign assistance delivered through other 
agencies and entities of the U.S. government, including the Millennium 
Challenge Corporation and the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator. 

U.S. Programs and Activities Support the Act's Policy Objectives: 

U.S. programs and activities provide support to the Act's policy 
objectives. Most recently, in fiscal years 2006 and 2007, U.S. agencies 
allocated the largest share of their funds for the DRC to programs that 
supported the Act's humanitarian and social development goals. Although 
the U.S. government has not acted on the Act's policy objective that it 
bilaterally urge nations contributing UN peacekeepers to prosecute 
abusive peacekeeping troops, it has taken other steps to address this 
objective. 

U.S. Funding for the DRC: 

Recent U.S. funding for the DRC has focused primarily on the Act's 
humanitarian and development goals.[Footnote 8] Seven U.S. agencies 
allocated about $217.9 million and $181.5 million for aid to the DRC in 
fiscal years 2006 and 2007, respectively, as shown in table 2[Footnote 
9].: 

Table 2: U.S. Agencies' Funding Allocations for the DRC by Category 
(Dollars in millions): 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Humanitarian: $85.3; 
Social development: $51.9; 
Economic: $66.4[A]; 
Governance: $7.5; 
Security: $6.9; 
Total: $217.9. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Humanitarian: 88.4; 
Social development: 58.2; 
Economic: 9.6; 
Governance: 14.5; 
Security: 10.8; 
Total: $181.5. 

Total: 
Humanitarian: $173.7; 
Social development: $110.1; 
Economic: $76.0; 
Governance: $22.1; 
Security: $17.7; 
Total: $399.4. 

Source: GAO analysis of executive branch data. 

Notes: Totals may not add due to rounding. 

[A] Includes $44.6 million allocated by the Treasury to help address 
costs of DRC debt relief. The DRC has received interim debt relief but 
must meet additional criteria before its debt is fully reduced. 

[End of table] 

As shown in figure 2, most of these funds were allocated by State and 
USAID. 

Figure 2: Allocation of U.S. Funding for the DRC by Agency, Fiscal 
Years 2006-2007: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a pie-chart depicting the allocation of U.S. funding for 
the DRC by Agency, Fiscal Years 2006-2007 (dollars in millions). The 
following data is depicted: 

State/USAID emergency assistance: $173.7 (44%); 
State/USAID nonemergency: $142 (36%); 
Treasury: $44.6 (11%); 
HHS: $23.6 (6%); 
USDA: $9.6 (2%); 
DOL: $5.5 (1%); 
DOD: $0.4 (less than 1%). 

Source: GAO analysis of executive agencies' data. 

[End of figure] 

The agencies allocated about 70 percent of these funds for programs 
that would support the Act's emergency humanitarian and social 
development objectives (see fig. 3).[Footnote 10] They allocated about 
30 percent of the funds for programs and activities that would support 
the Act's economic, governance, and security objectives.[Footnote 11] 

Figure 3: Allocation of U.S. Funding for the DRC by Category, Fiscal 
Years 2006-2007: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a pie-chart depicting the allocation of U.S. funding for 
the DRC by Category, Fiscal Years 2006-2007. The following data is 
depicted: 

Humanitarian Assistance: 43%; 
Social Development: 27%; 
Economic development/natural resource management: 19%; 
Governance: 6%; 
Security: 5%. 

Source: GAO analysis of executive branch data. 

[End of figure] 

Humanitarian Assistance: 

USAID and State have provided humanitarian assistance to help the DRC 
meet the basic needs of its citizens and vulnerable populations. The 
following examples illustrate these efforts. 

* USAID has provided emergency food assistance to the DRC, primarily 
through the UN World Food Program and Food for the Hungry 
International. USAID-funded emergency food assistance included general 
distribution of food to internally displaced persons who need food aid; 
vulnerable groups such as people infected with, and orphans and widows 
affected by, HIV/AIDS; and victims of sexual abuse by soldiers. USAID 
emergency assistance also supported road rehabilitation and bridge 
reconstruction projects; schools; and the socioeconomic reintegration 
of ex-child soldiers, adult combatants, and their families. In 
addition, USAID provided emergency supplies, health care, nutrition 
programs, water and sanitation improvements, food, and agriculture 
assistance to vulnerable populations in the DRC--including malnourished 
children, war-affected populations, internally displaced people, and 
formerly displaced households--primarily through NGOs. Recent program 
activities have focused on road rehabilitation; primary health care and 
specialized care services to malnourished children in certain eastern 
regions; medical care, treatment, and confidential counseling to 
victims of sexual and gender-based violence; and access to water and 
sanitation at health facilities. 

* State has provided humanitarian assistance to help repatriate, 
integrate, and resettle refugees in the DRC. It has also helped fund 
refugees' food needs and supported mental health assistance and market 
access programs in areas of high refugee return. In fiscal year 2007, 
State supported refugee assistance activities in the DRC, which were 
implemented primarily by the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, other 
international organizations, and NGOs. In addition, State contributed 
to overall Africa assistance programs implemented by the UN High 
Commissioner on Refugees and the International Committee of the Red 
Cross, which help support refugees and conflict victims in central 
Africa. 

Social Development Assistance: 

USAID, HHS, and DOL allocated funds to support the Act's social 
development and rehabilitation objectives. The following examples 
illustrate these efforts. 

* USAID has worked through NGOs to improve education, health care, and 
family planning. It has implemented activities to reduce abandonment of 
children; provide psychosocial support, medical assistance, and 
reintegration support to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence 
in the eastern DRC; train teachers; and increase access to education 
for vulnerable children. USAID also funds efforts to train medical 
staff and nurses in the management of primary health care, distribute 
bed nets to prevent the spread of malaria and polio, provide family 
planning services, and support voluntary counseling and testing centers 
for HIV/AIDS. 

* HHS has allocated funds for immunization against, and the 
surveillance and control of, infectious diseases such as polio, 
measles, and HIV/AIDS. HHS's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
has also sought to strengthen the capacity of public health personnel, 
promote infrastructure development and improve the quality of clinical 
laboratories through grants and cooperative agreements. The Centers for 
Disease Control and Prevention have also (1) provided ongoing 
technical, programmatic, and funding support through the World Health 
Organization and the UN Children's Fund for the DRC immunization 
program with an emphasis on polio eradication and measles mortality 
reduction, and (2) assisted the World Health Organization with a recent 
outbreak of Ebola virus. In addition, HHS's National Institutes of 
Health has granted funds to U.S. academic institutions to conduct basic 
and clinical biomedical research, which involves collaboration with 
research partners in the DRC. 

* DOL has allocated funds to address children's involvement in mining 
and related services, small-scale commerce, child soldiering, and other 
forms of child labor in the DRC. This effort would build on a recently 
completed project that assisted a small number of former child soldiers 
by fostering their withdrawal from militias and discouraging their 
reenlistment. 

Economic and Natural Resource Management Assistance: 

The Treasury, USAID, State, and USDA have provided support for the 
Act's economic objectives. The following examples illustrate these 
efforts. 

* The Treasury has worked with the World Bank and the IMF to relieve 
the DRC of some of its foreign debt. The United States provided the DRC 
with interim debt relief (primarily through reduced interest payments) 
in fiscal years 2005 through 2007, following the DRC's admittance into 
the HIPC debt relief program. Once the DRC qualifies for the completion 
of its HIPC debt relief, Treasury plans to pay the budgetary costs of 
full U.S. bilateral debt relief to the DRC ($1.3 billion) with $44.6 
million allocated in fiscal year 2006, about $80 million in previously 
appropriated funds, and about $178 million in fiscal year 2008 
funds.[Footnote 12] 

* USAID has allocated funds to support sustainable natural resource 
management, forest protection, and biodiversity in the DRC through the 
Central African Regional Program for the Environment. The program is a 
20-year regional initiative that aims to reduce deforestation and loss 
of biological diversity in the DRC and its eastern neighbors. A 
component of the U.S.-sponsored Congo Basin Forest Partnership, the 
program also promotes forest-based livelihoods in the DRC. USAID has 
also allocated funds to encourage productivity in the agricultural, 
private, and small enterprise sectors and to support agriculture 
development. In addition, USAID's Global Development Alliance program 
works with private companies to promote transparent mining practices 
and reinvestment into DRC mining communities. 

* State has supported efforts to promote transparency in the natural 
resource sector by serving as the U.S. representative to the Kimberley 
Process Certification Scheme which deals with rough diamond 
trade,[Footnote 13] and the Extractive Industries Transparency 
Initiative (EITI).[Footnote 14] 

* USDA has allocated funds to improve agricultural productivity, 
increase rural market development, provide credit for agribusiness and 
rural infrastructure, and increase access to potable water and water 
for irrigation in the DRC. 

Governance Assistance: 

USAID and State have allocated funds for programs that support the 
Act's governance objectives. The following examples illustrate such 
assistance. 

* USAID has allocated funds to organize itinerant court sessions in 
relatively inaccessible parts of the DRC. These sessions are intended 
to bring justice institutions closer to citizens, facilitate greater 
access to justice for vulnerable people, and provide quality legal 
assistance to the population. It has also supported an NGO's 
establishment of democracy resource centers to assist political party 
leaders, civic activists, elected local and national officials, and 
government institutions in consolidating good governance and democracy. 
To promote judicial independence, USAID has supported an NGO's efforts 
to (1) foster the adoption and implementation of priority improvements 
to the DRC's legal framework, including laws on sexual violence and the 
rights of women, and (2) provide legal assistance activities for 
victims of sexual and gender-based violence. 

* State allocated funds for more than 30 programs by the National 
Endowment for Democracy during 2006. Several of these programs were 
aimed at informing women of their rights, addressing issues of abuse 
and corruption, and promoting political participation. For example, the 
endowment used State funds to support the political role of women in 
one eastern province before and after the elections, to call attention 
to the continued victimization of women in eastern Congo, and to visit 
detention centers throughout the DRC to facilitate release of illegally 
detained men and women. 

Security Assistance: 

State, USAID, and DOD programs and activities have provided support for 
most of the Act's security-related policy objectives. The following 
examples illustrate these efforts. 

* State has facilitated a multinational forum, the Tripartite Plus 
Commission, to encourage other nations to play a constructive role in 
the DRC's security affairs. The commission provides a forum for the DRC 
and the nations on its troubled eastern border--Uganda, Rwanda, and 
Burundi--to discuss regional security issues, including militias 
operating illegally in the eastern DRC. State has also supported a 
center where these nations can share intelligence regarding militias. 

* USAID has launched programs to promote the reintegration of some 
former fighters into Congolese society. The programs are intended to 
provide the former fighters incentives to remain in civilian society. 

* State is refurbishing the DRC's military officer training school and 
training multiple levels of the military, including brigade-and 
battalion-staff level officers, on military justice reform, civil- 
military relations, and other issues of concern. According to State 
officials, State funds will be used for an initial DOD assessment of 
the military justice sector to identify needs to be addressed with 
future funds. State may also use these funds to help train DRC 
personnel to combat armed fighters in the eastern regions of the DRC. 

* Key State senior-level and program officials informed us that they 
were unaware of any U.S. efforts to bilaterally urge nations 
contributing UN peacekeeping troops to take steps to help those nations 
prosecute any of their peacekeeping troops who may commit abuses in the 
DRC.[Footnote 15] State officials informed us that the United States 
has encouraged the UN to take actions to guard against further abuses 
of DRC citizens by UN peacekeepers. The United States also supports the 
Global Peace Operations Initiative, a 5-year program to train and, as 
appropriate, equip at least 75,000 peacekeepers worldwide with a focus 
on African nations. 

Major Challenges in the DRC Impede Efforts to Achieve the Act's Policy 
Objectives: 

U.S., NGO, and other officials and experts identified several major 
challenges that impede U.S. efforts to achieve the Act's policy 
objectives. These challenges include (1) the unstable security 
situation, (2) weak governance and widespread corruption, (3) 
mismanagement of natural resources, and (4) lack of basic 
infrastructure.[Footnote 16] Because these challenges are interrelated, 
they negatively impact progress in multiple areas. 

Unstable Security Situation: 

The DRC's weak and abusive security forces have been unable to quell 
continuing militia activities in the DRC's eastern regions, where 
security grew worse during 2007. During 2006 and 2007, reports by 
several organizations described the security challenge in the DRC. 

* According to a report by the International Crisis Group,[Footnote 17] 
militias control large portions of the eastern regions of the DRC. The 
report concludes that the DRC's security forces are poorly disciplined, 
ill equipped, and the worst abusers of human rights in the DRC. 

* According to a UN report,[Footnote 18] the DRC army is responsible 
for 40 percent of recently reported human rights violations--including 
rapes, mass killings of civilians, and summary executions--and DRC 
police and other security forces have killed and tortured civilians 
with total impunity. The report states that the DRC has generally 
promoted, rather than investigated and prosecuted, army officers 
suspected of such abuses. 

* According to a report by Amnesty International,[Footnote 19] women 
have been raped in large numbers by government and other armed forces 
throughout the DRC. 

* According to State, government and other armed forces in the DRC have 
committed a wide range of human rights abuses, including forcing 
children into the security forces.[Footnote 20] 

The DRC's unstable security situation has worsened the DRC's 
humanitarian and social problems and impeded efforts to address these 
problems, according to NGO representatives, agency officials, and other 
sources. 

* The renewed conflict has prompted increased NGO and UN assistance 
programs, including those aimed at addressing basic needs and 
psychosocial, legal, and socioeconomic support for victims of sexual 
and gender-based violence. NGOs have noted that active combatants 
typically commit crimes of sexual violence against women, with 4,500 
sexual violence cases reported in the first 6 months of 2007 
alone.[Footnote 21] 

* The lack of security in the DRC has impeded efforts to address 
humanitarian needs as well as efforts aimed at promoting social 
development. U.S. agency officials informed us that the conflict has 
forced them to curtail some emergency assistance programs, and NGOs 
implementing development and humanitarian assistance activities in the 
DRC have reported that the lack of security has resulted in attacks on 
their staff or led them to suspend site visits and cancel and 
reschedule work. The UN has also stated that although access to 
displaced populations has improved somewhat in a few areas, in general 
it remains difficult because of the lack of security. 

* The DRC's unstable security situation has negatively affected the 
country's economic potential by discouraging investment, which in turn 
could worsen security through renewed conflict. DRC donors and the IMF 
agree that improved security in the DRC is necessary to strengthen the 
economy. Research on the security of property rights confirms this 
view. World Bank research has also found that a lack of economic growth 
increases a postconflict nation's likelihood of falling back into 
conflict.[Footnote 22] Other researchers have estimated that a 
democratic nation is roughly 10 times more likely to be overthrown if 
its economy experiences negative growth 2 years in a row.[Footnote 23] 

Weak Governance and Corruption: 

By many accounts, corruption in the DRC is widespread, civil liberties 
are limited, and the DRC's governance institutions have been severely 
damaged. 

* State has described corruption in the DRC as "pervasive." In 2007, an 
international donor study concluded that corruption in the DRC "remains 
widespread and is taking a heavy toll on public service capacity to 
deliver key services." Transparency International's 2007 Corruption 
Perceptions Index identifies the DRC as one of the 10th most corrupt 
countries in the world.[Footnote 24] 

* Freedom House in 2007 continued to rate the DRC as "Not Free" and 
scored it near the bottom of its scales for civil liberties and 
political freedom.[Footnote 25] USAID has pointed to limited 
opportunities for Congolese women to participate in the DRC's 
governance. 

* The World Bank has reported that the DRC's judicial system is one of 
the world's six weakest in terms of enforcing commercial contracts. 

* The State Department has described significant failures in the 
criminal justice system, as well as "harsh and life-threatening" prison 
conditions. 

Historically weak governance and corruption in the DRC have hindered 
efforts to reform the security sector and hold human rights violators 
accountable. 

* According to U.S. officials, the lack of a DRC government office with 
clear authority on security issues has impeded efforts to promote 
security sector reform. The officials informed us that the absence of 
clear authority over security sector issues has hindered efforts to 
determine both the DRC government's priorities for security sector 
reform and the most effective role for international donors in 
promoting security sector reform. 

* According to the country assistance framework, the DRC has not 
established a clear and functioning payroll system for its armed 
forces. One NGO reported that much of the $8 million the DRC paid in 
2005 for its soldiers' salaries was "diverted" and the remainder rarely 
reached soldiers in a timely manner. NGOs and media sources have 
reported that soldiers have committed human rights abuses as a result. 
The country assistance framework states that the DRC Ministry of 
Defense controls only a small number of budget items and is not 
accountable for the defense budget's use. 

* According to one NGO report,[Footnote 26] efforts to reform the 
command structure, size, and control of the security forces have been 
frustrated by political manipulation, pervasive corruption, and a 
failure to hold officials accountable. A U.S. State Department official 
told us that efforts to reform the DRC's police may be impeded by lack 
of support from DRC institutions that suffer from corruption and have 
no interest in reform. 

* According to NGO representatives, the lack of an effective judiciary 
impedes efforts to hold human rights violators accountable for their 
actions, which in turn promotes a "culture of impunity." One NGO 
reported that a severe shortage of DRC judicial personnel--particularly 
in the eastern portion of the nation--prevents courts from hearing 
cases, public prosecutor offices from conducting investigations, and 
prisons from operating. Another NGO stated that the judiciary is 
subject to corruption and manipulation by both official and unofficial 
actors. As a result, courts have recently failed to hold individuals 
accountable for human rights violations, including a massacre of more 
than 70 people and the reported rape by police of 37 women and girls in 
a village in a western province. A representative of one NGO told us 
that local government officials had tortured his organization's 
grantees in an effort to stop their democracy and governance training 
programs. 

Governance problems have also hindered efforts to implement economic 
reforms required for debt relief and promote economic growth. 

* According to Treasury officials and IMF documents, the government's 
lack of commitment to meet certain requirements has jeopardized the 
DRC's ability to receive some interim debt relief, qualify for full 
debt relief, and improve the country's overall economic prospects. To 
receive the estimated $6.3 billion in debt relief for which it may 
qualify under HIPC, the DRC must meet various conditions that include 
satisfactory macroeconomic performance under an IMF-supported program, 
improved public sector management, and implementation of structural 
reforms. Although donors had expected the DRC to qualify for full debt 
relief in 2006, the government instead has fallen back into arrears and 
has failed to implement needed policies; as a result, IMF has suspended 
its program assistance to the DRC.[Footnote 27] Although IMF has 
determined that the DRC cannot sustain its current debt levels, donors 
do not expect the DRC to qualify for full debt relief until mid-2008. 

* The judiciary's ineffective enforcement of commercial contracts in 
the DRC has likely discouraged private sector investment and hence 
economic growth. The enforcement of contracts, typically a 
responsibility of the judicial system, is important to establishing 
incentives for economic activity. According to the World Bank, the 
DRC's enforcement of contracts is among the weakest in the world, such 
that a company might need to expend roughly 150 percent of a typical 
contract's value to ensure enforcement through court proceedings. 

Mismanagement of Natural Resources: 

International donors, NGOs, and the DRC government have focused on 
improving natural resource management through increased transparency 
and international instruments of enforcement. However, owing in part to 
governance and capacity challenges, these efforts have made only 
limited progress. 

* Until recently, the DRC had not met EITI implementation requirements 
or followed EITI guidelines, according to U.S. officials. These 
officials informed us that the DRC had excluded civil society 
representatives and replaced EITI's Permanent Secretary with a new 
representative. As a result, EITI was reviewing the DRC's signatory 
status, and key donors were withdrawing technical assistance. U.S. 
officials informed us that in September 2007, EITI granted the DRC 
additional time to meet threshold criteria to continue participation in 
the initiative and that the DRC subsequently made progress in meeting 
those criteria. 

* The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme has criticized the DRC for 
weak internal controls, customs capacity, and ability to track diamonds 
extracted by large number of self-employed miners.[Footnote 28] State 
and USAID officials reported that the DRC's certification process is 
failing to capture as much as 50 percent of diamonds mined in the DRC. 

* U.S. and NGO officials have expressed concern that the DRC is not 
enforcing a moratorium on forestry concessions instituted in May 2002. 
An NGO reported that after the moratorium took effect, the DRC signed 
107 of 156 forestry contracts now under review and that a third of the 
contracts involve areas identified for conservation. Although the DRC 
government is reviewing mining and forestry concessions signed during 
the war,[Footnote 29] U.S. officials told us that the DRC is conducting 
the mining contract review with limited transparency. U.S. and NGO 
officials expressed concern that the DRC has not published its terms of 
reference or all of the contracts or clearly defined the role of 
representatives of civil society. 

Mismanagement of the DRC's natural resources has fueled continued 
conflict and corruption, according to U.S. officials, the UN, 
international donors, and NGOs. 

* The DRC's abundant natural resources are serving as an incentive for 
conflict between neighboring countries' militias and armed domestic 
factions. These groups seek to control specific mining sites and 
illegal trade networks to finance operations and buy arms. For example, 
the UN has reported that profits from Congolese coltan have financed a 
large part of Rwanda's military budget and that gold smuggled into 
Uganda continues to finance militias. Such reports are consistent with 
World Bank research, which commonly finds that countries with valuable 
natural resources have more conflict than countries without such 
resources.[Footnote 30] 

* In addition to fueling conflict, the DRC's abundance of natural 
resources continues to foster corruption as government officials use 
bribery to share in resource profits. For example, NGOs have reported 
that through extensive bribery and corruption in the mining sector, 
exports of large quantities of DRC copper and cobalt have been 
undeclared and that 60 to 80 percent of the DRC's 2005-2006 customs 
revenue was embezzled. USAID has also reported on the postconflict 
proliferation of natural resource contracts based on joint ventures 
between the DRC government and private partners, who are receiving a 
disproportionate share of profits. 

Lack of Basic Infrastructure: 

The DRC lacks many key elements of basic infrastructure, such as 
buildings, equipment, and transportation. 

* The transportation sector is "broken," according to one recent 
international assessment. The DRC has fewer than 1,740 miles of paved 
roads to connect 58 million to 65 million people distributed over more 
than 900,000 square miles.[Footnote 31] According to a recent study 
prepared by 17 donor nations, no roads link 9 of the DRC's 10 
provincial capitals to the national capital, and no roads link the 
DRC's northern and southern regions or its eastern and western regions. 

* About 90 percent of DRC airfields lack paved runways. More air 
crashes have occurred in the DRC since 1945 than in any other African 
state. 

* International observers have reported that the DRC's educational and 
penal infrastructures are dilapidated. 

* An international group of donor nations recently identified major 
deficiencies in electrification, communications, supplies of clean 
water, and credit. 

The DRC's lack of basic infrastructure has hindered progress in 
humanitarian, developmental, and governance programs. 

* U.S. officials told us that the lack of an adequate in-country 
transportation system increases the time required to get supplies to 
those in need. Such problems limit access to vulnerable groups and 
cause delays in providing humanitarian assistance such as food 
aid.[Footnote 32] NGO and U.S. officials implementing emergency food 
aid and nonemergency food security programs in the DRC have reported 
that excessive delays in delivering assistance are common because of 
the lack of roads linking the DRC's regions and several of its major 
cities and ports. One NGO has reported that it must compete with 
commercial contracts for the limited space on the DRC's troubled rail 
system and that its commodities and equipment are often given lower 
priority. 

* U.S. and NGO officials also pointed out that the lack of roads in the 
DRC has increased the expense or difficulty associated with their 
programs, in part because they must increase their reliance on air 
transport.[Footnote 33] The dearth of accessible roads in the DRC has 
prompted USAID's emergency assistance programs to use some of their 
funds for road rehabilitation programs, to ensure safe and reliable 
routes to reach those in need. The lack of roads and other adequate 
infrastructure also affects private companies trying to import and 
export goods. According to the World Bank's Cost of Doing Business 
survey, DRC's average export costs in 2006, at more than $3,100 per 
container, were the world's third highest. 

* State officials told us that the DRC government needs "everything 
from bricks to paper." A USAID official told us that any effort to 
establish new provincial legislatures would be hindered by the lack of 
buildings to house the legislators or "even chairs for them to sit in." 

* An NGO has reported that the DRC judicial system is being undermined 
by destroyed infrastructure, equipment shortages, lack of reference 
texts, and the dearth of roads, which makes some areas inaccessible to 
legal authorities. 

* A 2007 UN report noted that at least 429 detainees (including some 
convicted of human rights violations) had escaped from dilapidated 
prisons over the last 6 months of 2006.[Footnote 34] 

* International donor nations and organizations concluded in their 
assistance framework document that the lack of infrastructure has made 
economic development almost impossible in many areas and may stifle the 
potential for economic growth and private sector activity in most DRC 
provinces. 

U.S. Government Has Not Assessed Its Overall Progress toward Achieving 
the Act's Policy Objectives: 

The U.S. government has not established a process to assess agencies' 
overall progress toward achieving the Act's policy objectives in the 
DRC. Although State and the National Security Council (NSC) have 
developed mechanisms to coordinate some of the agencies' activities in 
the DRC, neither mechanism systematically assesses overall progress. 

Some of the key agencies involved in the DRC monitor their respective 
programs. For example, USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance 
(OFDA) has two program officers in the DRC who regularly visit project 
sites and publish quarterly reports on OFDA activities. Their partner 
organizations, or implementers, also provide reports and updates on 
their projects.[Footnote 35] Similarly, USAID officials told us that 
USAID's Central African Regional Program for the Environment program 
has an extensive and standard set of monitoring and evaluation tools 
built into all cooperative agreements with implementers, such as use of 
satellite imagery and remote sensing to analyze change in forest cover, 
one of the principal "high-level" indicators. DOL informed us that it 
relies on midterm and final evaluations, financial and programmatic 
audits, and biannual technical and financial reports to monitor its 
programs.[Footnote 36] USDA officials informed us that USDA requires 
its partner organizations to conduct assessments of their projects. 

However, the executive branch has not established a governmentwide 
process to use such information for an assessment of overall U.S. 
progress in the DRC. Although State and NSC have developed mechanisms 
aimed at providing some degree of coordination among executive branch 
agencies active in the DRC, neither mechanism currently provides for 
the systematic assessment of overall U.S. progress toward its goals. 

* A new State-USAID joint planning process is not yet fully operational 
and does not include other agencies active in the DRC. State's newly 
established Director of Foreign Assistance (DFA), who also serves as 
USAID's administrator, has been charged with ensuring that foreign 
assistance is being used as effectively as possible to meet broad U.S. 
foreign policy objectives. Under DFA's guidance, State and USAID have 
begun to develop a joint planning and budgeting process that, according 
to State officials, may eventually assess all U.S. foreign assistance. 
However, the Office of the DFA has yet to complete its plan for 
operations in the DRC during fiscal year 2007, which ended on September 
30, 2007. As of February 2007, the draft country operations plan was 
incomplete and consisted of a listing of individual programs that did 
not include a systematic assessment of the collective impact of State 
and USAID efforts during fiscal year 2007. In addition, the DFA draft 
plan did not address activities funded by other agencies, including 
DOD, HHS, and the Treasury, although the DFA joint planning process may 
eventually include other agencies to some degree. Under the DFA 
process, the U.S. mission to the DRC has prepared a mission strategic 
plan. However, the mission strategic plan pertains only to currently 
projected fiscal year 2009 activities and is therefore subject to 
change before submission of the fiscal year 2009 budget request in 
2008.[Footnote 37] 

* The NSC interagency group, intended to help coordinate certain 
agencies' activities, does not systematically assess these activities 
and does not include several relevant agencies. The NSC group assembles 
agencies such the Departments of State, Defense, and the Treasury to 
discuss policies and approaches to addressing the challenges in the 
DRC. For example, according to State and NSC officials, these 
discussions often focus on the eastern DRC's unstable security. 
However, NSC and State officials told us that the NSC group has not 
developed systematic tools for assessing the impact of all U.S. 
agencies' efforts to achieve the objectives of the Act. Also, the NSC 
effort has not included key agencies involved in the DRC, such as DOL, 
HHS, or USDA, in its discussions of policies and approaches. 

Conclusions: 

The DRC appears to be at a crucial point in its turbulent history. 
After decades of dictatorship and devastating wars with its neighbors 
and internal groups, it has inaugurated its first democratically 
elected government in more than 40 years. However, U.S. and NGO 
officials agree that several interrelated challenges continue to pose 
major impediments to achievement of the Act's policy objectives in the 
DRC. Failure to make near-term progress in addressing the DRC's 
unstable security, rampant corruption, economic mismanagement, and lack 
of needed infrastructure could result in further war and instability in 
a region of importance to U.S. national interests. 

U.S. agencies have initiated a wide range of efforts to help the DRC 
establish and maintain peace and stability. However, because the U.S. 
government has not established a process to systematically assess its 
overall progress in the DRC, it cannot be fully assured that it has 
allocated these resources in the most effective manner. For example, a 
systematic process for assessing governmentwide progress would allow 
the United States to determine whether its allocations, which currently 
emphasize humanitarian aid, should focus more on the DRC's unstable 
security, which worsens the country's other problems and impedes the 
delivery of U.S. assistance. Similarly, such a process could give the 
U.S. government greater assurance that it has identified additional 
bilateral or multilateral measures that may be needed to achieve the 
Act's objectives. Given the DRC's significance to the stability of 
Africa, the scope, complexity, and interrelated nature of its urgent 
problems warrant an effective governmentwide response. 

Recommendation for Executive Action: 

To provide a basis for informed decisions regarding U.S. allocations 
for assistance in the DRC as well as any needed bilateral or 
multilateral actions, we recommend that the Secretary of State, through 
the Director of Foreign Assistance, work with the heads of the other 
U.S. agencies implementing programs in the DRC to develop a plan for 
systematically assessing the U.S. government's overall progress toward 
achieving the Act's objectives. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

We requested comments on a draft of this report from the Secretaries of 
Agriculture, Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, State, and the 
Treasury. We also requested comments from the Administrator of USAID 
and from the Director of Congressional Relations of OPIC. 

We received written comments from State, which are reprinted in 
appendix III. In its comments, State endorsed our recommendation. It 
further noted that it believed that the recommendation would be met as 
DFA's joint planning and budgeting processes are extended to include 
all U.S. agencies engaged in the DRC. State also provided several other 
comments, for example, expressing concerns regarding the span of years 
addressed in our report and what it characterized as a lack of 
historical context. We addressed State's comments as appropriate in 
this report. 

We also received technical comments on our draft report from DOD, HHS, 
DOL, the Treasury, and USAID. We have incorporated these comments into 
our report, as appropriate. 

We are sending copies of this report to interested congressional 
committees, the Secretary of State, and other interested parties. We 
will also make copies available to others on request. In addition, the 
report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-3149 or gootnickd@gao.gov. Contact points for 
our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found 
on the last page of this report. Key contributors are listed in 
appendix IV. 

Singed by: 

David Gootnick: 
Director: 
International Affairs and Trade: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Our objectives were to identify (1) U.S. programs in the Democratic 
Republic of the Congo (DRC), (2) major impediments hindering 
accomplishment of the policy objectives of the DRC Relief, Security, 
and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006 (the Act), and (3) U.S. government 
efforts to assess progress toward accomplishing the Act's policy 
objectives. Because the Act directed us to review actions taken by U.S. 
agencies to achieve its objectives, we focused on the fiscal year in 
which the Act was enacted, and also considered the fiscal year before 
its enactment to provide context. 

To identify U.S. programs in the DRC, we interviewed officials from key 
U.S. agencies who have programs in the DRC. These agencies included the 
Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD), Labor (DOL), Health 
and Human Services (HHS), State, and the Treasury (Treasury); the 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC); and the U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID). We also reviewed program documents, 
budget data, and policy statements. We identified the amount of funding 
each agency had allocated for its DRC programs in fiscal years 2006 and 
2007 by analyzing official agency submissions to Congress and related 
documents. We did not attempt to determine the extent to which each 
agency had obligated or expended the funds it had allocated. 

To determine the major impediments hindering accomplishment of the 
Act's policy objectives, we reviewed a range of documents, plans, and 
assessments provided to us by U.S. agencies with programs in the DRC. 
We also interviewed officials from each of these agencies. We reviewed 
economic literature and recent reports, program assessments, studies, 
and papers written by nongovernmental organizations, international 
organizations, multilateral banks, and think tanks. To discuss key 
challenges to addressing the Act's policy objectives, we conducted a 
round-table session with a nonprobability sample of 11 nongovernmental 
organizations that offer a broad range of experience and expertise 
implementing programs and projects in the DRC. For example, we included 
panelists from organizations that focus on humanitarian, democracy, and 
economic development issues. Additionally, we interviewed 
representatives from other organizations with experience in the DRC. 
Based on all of these responses, we compared and contrasted the 
challenges identified to determine common themes and focused on 
challenges that were internal to the DRC. We considered all of these 
views as we finalized our analysis of these challenges. We defined 
challenges as factors that are internal to the DRC--that is, they 
represent impediments to the United States and other donors that are 
providing assistance intended to improve the situation in that country. 

To examine U.S. efforts to assess progress toward accomplishing the 
Act's policy objectives, we identified U.S. interagency assessments, 
reports, and plans pertaining to programs in the DRC. We also 
interviewed U.S. agency officials and a cognizant official of the 
National Security Council. Although we did not travel to the DRC, we 
conducted several telephone interviews with U.S. embassy and USAID 
mission staff located in the DRC. 

We conducted our work from May 2007 to December 2007 in accordance with 
generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Examples of Programs by Policy Objective Category: 

Policy objective category: Humanitarian; 
Examples of agencies active in each category: USAID, State; 
Examples of programs pertaining to each category: Provision of the 
following to vulnerable populations: 
* emergency supplies; 
* health care; 
* nutrition programs; 
* water and sanitation improvements; 
* food and agriculture assistance; 
Total category funding, fiscal years 2006-2007 (millions of dollars): 
$173.7. 

Policy objective category: Social development; 
Examples of agencies active in each category: USAID, HHS, DOL, DOD; 
Examples of programs pertaining to each category: 
* Psychosocial support, medical assistance, and reintegration support 
to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence; 
* Immunization against infectious diseases (e.g., polio and measles); 
* Address children's involvement in mining and related services, small-
scale commerce, child soldiering, and other forms of child labor; 
Total category funding, fiscal years 2006-2007 (millions of dollars): 
$110.1. 

Policy objective category: Governance; 
Examples of agencies active in each category: State, USAID; 
Examples of programs pertaining to each category: 
* Establishment of democracy resource centers; 
* Legal assistance; 
* Support for promoting political participation; 
Total category funding, fiscal years 2006-2007 (millions of dollars): 
$22.1. 

Policy objective category: Economic/natural resource management; 
Examples of agencies active in each category: Treasury, USAID, USDA; 
Examples of programs pertaining to each category: 
* Debt relief; 
* Support for the Central African Regional Program for the Environment; 
* Agricultural development assistance; 
Total category funding, fiscal years 2006-2007 (millions of dollars): 
$76. 

Policy objective category: Security; 
Examples of agencies active in each category: State, DOD; 
Examples of programs pertaining to each category: 
* Refurbishment of a military officer training school; 
* Training brigade-and battalion-staff level officers on military 
justice reform, civil-military relations, and other issues; 
* Support for Tripartite Plus Commission; 
Total category funding, fiscal years 2006-2007 (millions of dollars): 
$17.7. 

Source: GAO analysis of the Act and executive branch data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Comments from the Department of State: 

United States Department of State:
Assistant Secretary for Resource Management and Chief Financial 
Officer: 
Washington, D.C. 20520: 

Ms. Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers: 
Managing Director:
International Affairs and Trade: 
Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, NW: 
Washington, D.C. 20548-0001: 

December 3, 2007: 

Dear Ms. Williams-Bridgers: 

We appreciate the opportunity to review your draft report, "The 
Democratic Republic Of The Congo: Systematic Assessment Needed to 
Determine Progress toward U.S. Policy Objectives," GAO Job Code 320490. 

The enclosed Department of State comments are provided for 
incorporation with this letter as an appendix to the final report. 

If you have any questions concerning this response, please contact 
Madeline Seidenstricker, Democratic Republic of Congo Desk Officer, 
Bureau of African Affairs, at (202) 647-2216. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 

Bradford R. Higgins: 

cc: GAO ó Zina Merritt: 
AF ó Jendayi Frazer: 
State/OIG ó Mark Duda: 

[End of letter] 

Department of State Comments on GAO Draft Report 

The Democratic Republic Of The Congo: Systematic Assessment
Needed to Determine Progress toward U.S. Policy Objectives
(GAO-08-188, Job Code 320490): 

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your draft report entitled 
"The Democratic Republic Of The Congo (DRC): Systematic Assessment 
Needed to Determine Progress toward US. Policy Objectives." The 
Department of State has long played a leading role in assisting the 
Congolese people to build a stable, democratic and prosperous nation. 
The Department of State was instrumental in ending a regional conflict 
waged on the territory of the DRC involving multiple national armies 
and numerous domestic groups armed by regional actors. The State 
Department actively supported the Lusaka Peace Process, culminating in 
the Global and Inclusive Agreement signed in Sun City in 2002. The 
Department of State was instrumental in the establishment of the United 
Nations Organization Mission to the DRC (MONUC), whose facilitation 
made possible DRC's historic national elections in 2006, the first 
democratic election since 1960. MONUC continues to be the principal 
security provider in the DRC. 

The State Department has long supported the DRC's stabilization and 
successful transition to democracy as the cornerstone of lasting 
stability for the African Great Lakes region. The State Department 
welcomes the GAO report on the DRC as an important indicator of 
Congressional interest. However, we continue to believe that by 
beginning its assessment in 2003, the GAO did not sufficiently take 
into account the State Department's role in ending the war in the DRC. 
Without that important contextual information, the present report 
provides a somewhat incomplete snapshot of U.S. engagement with the DRC 
before the adoption of the Act. While the report does provide a useful 
snapshot of where the State Department currently stands in implementing 
the provisions of the 2006 DRC Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion 
Act, it presents an arbitrarily limited perspective on the State 
Department's role in ending the regional war that left the DRC 
devastated. 

The fifteen policy objectives established in the Act are consistent 
with State Department policies already in the process of 
implementation. The Department of State endorses the GAO recommendation 
that the U.S. Government systematically assess progress toward 
achieving that Act's policy objectives. We believe this
recommendation will be met as the joint planning and budgeting processes
underway at the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International 
Development are extended to include all U.S. agencies engaged in the 
DRC under the Director of Foreign Assistance ("F"). 

The GAO report notes that Western aid fell in the early 1990s owing to 
concerns about human rights and the need for internal reforms and then 
moves immediately to note the beginning of increasing U.S. aid in 2001 
without taking note of the horrific regional wars that took place 
between the drop in assistance levels and its resumption. Given that 
the Act suggests that the Secretary of State should withhold U.S. 
assistance to the DRC if the DRC does not make sufficient progress on 
the various policy objectives, the State Department submits that the 
GAO and Congress should take note of what took place in the country 
during the period when funding was withheld in the 1990s. The DRC's 
governance capacity was decimated by previous government corruption, 
the intense conflict, and the long absence of donor-support, making 
progress today on most policy objectives critical but also extremely 
challenging. 

The Department of State suggests that the GAO clearly state under 
"Results in Brief' that the GAO team was unable to travel to the DRC 
and therefore did not consult with international donor governments and 
UN agencies operating in the Congo. 

Finally, the Department of State is concerned by the lack of historical 
context in the report. Outside of the conclusion, the report devotes a 
mere paragraph to the history of the DRC, summarizing the collapse and 
subsequent reemergence of a nation as follows: "The DRC has had a 
turbulent history." This lack of explanation of the historical factors 
that explain why the DRC ranks second to Sudan on the Fund for Peace 
scale of failed states does not appear to be in keeping with the spirit 
of the Act. The turbulent history is important in understanding the 
reason for the insecurity in the east of the country and the severe 
underdevelopment in a country rich in natural resources. 

Specific Notes: 

* The GAO report states that the DRC's gross domestic product grew at 
an average of 5.5 percent from 2002 to 2006 but has recently slowed. 
Our understanding is that growth is expected to continue to grow at the 
same rate in 2007. 

* One additional challenge to the accomplishment of USG objectives 
involves coordination among donor countries, including China, which has 
been reticent to coordinate its activities in Congo with U.S. and 
European donors. Coordination between the UN peacekeeping mission in 
the Congo (MONUC) and international and local NGOs, which is essential 
for the protection of civilians, particularly in eastern Congo, is also 
particularly challenging. There are mechanisms that foster donor 
coordination, including the Contact Group that the United States. has 
actively supported, as well as mechanisms to foster UNNGO coordination 
in the DRC. However, there remains room for improvement. Although 
effectively addressing these important coordination challenges depends 
in part on non-U.S. entities, the USG is working with our international 
partners to pursue ways to address them more effectively. 

* On page 10 of the GAO report, under #13, the term "Humanitarian 
Assistance" should be added to the categories listed. 

* On Page 15, the paragraph on State humanitarian assistance should 
read as follows: State has provided humanitarian assistance to 
repatriate and reintegrate refugees returning to the DRC as well as to 
refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the DRC. It has 
provided funding for refugee returnee food needs as well as basic 
health and nutrition, water and sanitation, livelihood creation and 
market access, prevention and response to Gender Based Violence and 
mental health assistance programs is areas of high refugee return. In 
fiscal year 2007, State supported refugee return and reintegration 
activities in the DRC, which were implemented primarily by the Office 
of the High Commissioner for Refugees, other international 
organizations and NGOs. Contributions to UNHCR also addressed the needs 
of refugees hosted by the DRC and persons displaced within the country. 
In addition, State contributed to overall Africa assistance programs 
implemented by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and 
the International Committee of the Red Cross, of which a portion 
supports refugees and conflict victims in Central Africa. 

* Please note that proposed FY08 security assistance funding for the 
DRC totals $8.35 million ($5.5 million PKO, $500,000 in IMET, $600,000 
in FMF, and $1.75 in INCLE). It is worth noting that this amount 
represents a decrease from the $10.8 million in security anticipated 
for FY07. The FY08 decrease occurs at a time when violence in the 
eastern DRC is on the rise. 

* On pages 17 and 18, under the examples of the USG's Governance 
Assistance programs, it might be worthwhile to include mention of DRL's 
$3.4 million governance and human rights programs. These five programs, 
which address anti-corruption, legal and other forms of assistance for 
victims of gender-based violence, judicial strengthening, civil society 
strengthening, and press freedom/media development, were funded with 
FY06 money and the implementation of these programs will continue 
through FY09. 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

David Gootnick, (202) 512-3149 or gootnickd@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the contact named above, Zina Merritt (Assistant 
Director), Pierre Toureille, Kristy Kennedy, Kendall Schaefer, Martin 
De Alteriis, Michael Hoffman, Reid Lowe, and Farhanaz Kermalli made key 
contributions to this report. Grace Lui provided technical assistance. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] Pub. L. No. 109-456, 120 Stat. 3384. 

[2] We have grouped the Act's 15 objectives in five categories-- 
emergency humanitarian assistance, social development, economic and 
natural resources, governance, and security. 

[3] Coltan and cassiterite are metals used in the electronics industry. 

[4] According to a recent report by Greenpeace--Carving Up the Congo 
(Apr. 1, 2007)--forests play a critical role in keeping the planet's 
climate stable by storing carbon. Central African forests constitute 
the second largest area of rain forest in the world. 

[5] We state external debt in present value terms, which take into 
account the sum of all future debt-service obligations (interest and 
principal) on existing debt, discounted at the market interest rate. 

[6] The DRC did not service its external debt during the war. At the 
end of 2001, the DRC's arrears on publicly guaranteed debt was about 
$10.6 billion. Donors cleared about $2 billion in arrears, and the DRC 
qualified for debt relief in 2003 through HIPC, a joint bilateral and 
multilateral effort to relieve poor countries of debt to promote long- 
term economic growth and debt sustainability. In qualifying for HIPC, 
the DRC has been able to receive interim debt relief, primarily in 
terms of lower debt-service payments. The DRC must meet certain 
additional criteria before its debt is fully reduced through HIPC. 

[7] Exec. Order No. 13413, 71 Fed. Reg. 64105 (Oct. 27, 2006). 

[8] See appendix II for further details. 

[9] We did not determine the extent to which the agencies have 
obligated and expended the funds they allocated. In addition to 
providing the funding shown, the United States also contributed funds 
to international organizations that conducted activities in the DRC 
during 2006 and 2007. For example, it contributed about $236 million 
and $300 million in fiscal years 2006 and 2007, respectively, for the 
support of UN peacekeeping activities in the DRC. As one of the largest 
donors to the DRC, the World Bank has funded a wide range of programs-
-including macroeconomic management, infrastructure, and disarmament, 
demobilization, and reintegration of militia fighters--that have 
totaled around $366 million in fiscal year 2006 and $180 million in 
fiscal year 2007. The United States provides around 14 percent of donor 
funds to the World Bank for such operations. It is also the largest 
contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, 
which is active in the DRC. 

[10] According to HHS, its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
obligates funds for projects that are part of research that can be 
conducted in different countries, rather than allocating funds by 
country. Our summary figures incorporate total Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention funding for the DRC for the 2 years depicted. 

[11] For fiscal year 2008, State and USAID requested $80.2 million for 
the DRC, including $39.8 million for social development assistance, 
$20.9 million for governance assistance, $11 million for economic 
development assistance, and $8.6 million for peace and security 
assistance. The agencies have not yet allocated 2008 funding for 
emergency humanitarian assistance. The Treasury requested $178.3 
million in fiscal year 2008 funds in the event that the DRC qualifies 
for debt relief. OPIC has approved $400 million in financing and 
insurance for a U.S. company to invest in the DRC's mining sector and 
will seek fiscal year 2008 funding to support this project. 

[12] When the DRC reaches its HIPC completion point, debt relief from 
all donors is expected to lower current levels of DRC external debt by 
about $6.3 billion. The Treasury estimates that the budgetary cost of 
reducing the $1.3 billion of DRC bilateral debt owed to the United 
States is about $300 million, based on the Office of Management and 
Budget's Circular Number A-11. This estimate includes factors such as 
the likelihood of default, the interest rate, and the maturity period. 
An interagency country risk assessment is used to calculate the DRC's 
probability of loan default. 

[13] The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme aims to control the 
international rough diamond trade and assure customers that diamonds 
purchased have not helped to finance violent conflicts. 

[14] Under EITI, countries publish and verify payments and government 
revenues in the natural resource sector. 

[15] Section 102(12) of the Act states that U.S. policy is to work 
aggressively on a bilateral basis to urge governments of countries 
contributing troops to the United Nations peacekeeping force in the DRC 
to enact and enforce laws on trafficking in persons and sexual abuse 
that meet international standards, promote codes of conduct for troops 
serving as part of UN peacekeeping missions, and immediately 
investigate and punish citizens responsible for abuses in the DRC. 

[16] In addition to the challenges in the DRC described in this section 
of our report, the NGO round table also identified challenges outside 
of the DRC relating to the level of U.S. engagement and commitment in 
the DRC, as well as the prioritization of U.S. resources and the lack 
of demonstrated results. 

[17] International Crisis Group, Congo: Consolidating the Peace, Africa 
Report 128 (Kinshasa and Brussels, July 5, 2007). 

[18] Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, MONUC Human 
Rights Division, The Human Rights Situation in the Democratic Republic 
of Congo (DRC) during the period of July to December 2006 (Feb. 8, 
2007). 

[19] Amnesty International, Report 2007--The State of The World's Human 
Rights (see hyperlink, http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/download-the-
report). 

[20] State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (Washington, D.C., March 6, 
2007). 

[21] One UN representative noted that the real number of sexual 
violence cases is many times higher, as most victims live in 
inaccessible areas, are afraid to report the attacks, or did not 
survive them. 

[22] The DRC country assistance framework document notes that an 
additional 2 percent of economic growth sustained over 10 years could 
reduce the risk of renewed civil war by about one-third. See also Paul 
Collier and Anke Hoeffler, "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Oxford 
Economic Papers, vol. 56 (2004). 

[23] Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Josť Antonio Cheibub, and 
Fernando Limongi, Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and 
Well-Being in the World, 1950-1990 (Cambridge, United Kingdom: 
Cambridge University Press, 2000). 

[24] The DRC, with three other countries, has a score of 1.9 on the 
corruption index's 10-point scale, in which a score of zero would be 
given for a highly corrupt state and 10 would be given for a "clean" 
state. The index includes 179 nations (see hyperlink, 
http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2007). 

[25] This index may be viewed at hyperlink, 
http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=365&year=2007. 

[26] International Crisis Group, Congo: Consolidating the Peace, Africa 
Report 128 (Kinshasa and Brussels, July 5, 2007). 

[27] For example, IMF reports that the DRC made little progress in 
reforming the mining sector, public enterprises, the civil service, and 
the central bank. The government incurred large budgetary overruns that 
were monetized and resulted in a depreciation of the currency. In 2006, 
the DRC's currency depreciated 15 percent against the U.S. dollar and 
inflation rose above 18 percent. 

[28] These challenges are common to many developing country members. 
For further discussion of such challenges, see GAO, International 
Trade: Critical Issues Remain in Deterring Conflict Diamond Trade, GAO-
02-678 (Washington, D.C.: June 14, 2002). 

[29] During wartime, the DRC and rebels alike sold advance mineral 
extraction rights and forestry concessions to raise money. In June 
2005, a parliamentary commission investigating economic and financial 
contracts signed during the war reported to the National Assembly that 
many mining contracts signed between 1996 and 2003 were illegal or of 
limited value to the DRC's development. Although the commission 
recommended that some contracts be rescinded or renegotiated, the DRC 
government has not fully acted on this recommendation, and U.S. 
officials we spoke with were uncertain about the recommendation's 
likely impact on reviews of current contracts. 

[30] The World Bank's Development Research Group identified the 
percentage of a country's gross domestic product that is derived from 
natural resource exports as the single most important structural factor 
associated with conflict. Specifically, a country's risk of conflict 
increases to about 22 percent from about 1 percent if natural resource 
exports constitute as much as 33 percent of its gross domestic product. 
See Collier and Hoeffler, "Greed and Grievance" (2004). 

[31] In contrast, neighboring Uganda, with less than 1/11th of the 
DRC's land area and about half of its population, has nearly six times 
as many miles of paved roads. 

[32] See GAO, Foreign Assistance: Various Challenges Impede the 
Efficiency and Effectiveness of U.S. Food Aid, GAO-07-560 (Washington, 
D.C.: Apr. 13, 2007). 

[33] We reported in 2007 that expenditures for food aid transportation-
-including in-country delivery and administration--have been rising 
throughout the world, in part because of the expensive nature of 
logistics in emergency situations. See GAO-07-560. 

[34] See Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, MONUC 
Human Rights Division, The Human Rights Situation in the Democratic 
Republic of Congo (DRC) during the period of July to December 2006 
(Feb. 8, 2007). 

[35] For example, in one report, OFDA noted that work conditions are 
extremely difficult because many health centers are accessible only by 
foot and that the local population is often too fearful of attacks by 
armed groups operating in the area to make full use of the centers. 

[36] One recent report noted that continuing or worsening security 
problems were hampering the efficiency of a DOL project in the DRC. 

[37] A DFA official informed us in early December 2007 that the draft 
fiscal year 2007 operations plan had yet to be finalized. DFA staff 
provided us with summary fiscal year 2007 funding data in September 
2007 for the purposes of this report. 

[End of section] 

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