“When I visited [eastern Congo] in 2009, I saw firsthand how Eastern Congo Initiative is supporting civil society groups to meet some of the biggest challenges in that country.”
–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Today, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) Founder, Ben Affleck joined Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and other global leaders at Child Survival: Call to Action to chart a new course forward in the fight against preventable child mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the world over.
Ben was joined at the event by ECI partners Dr. Jo Lusi of HEAL Africa and Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi Hospital. Dr. Therese Mambu of the University of Kinshasa and the new Congolese Minister of Health, Felix Kabange Numbi, were also in attendance.
With Administrator Shah, Ben co-authored an Op-ed on ending child mortality. ECI also released public opinion poll data from DRC that highlights key issues in Congo, including the improvements needed for child health in the country.
In his remarks, Ben emphasized that reducing child mortality in the DRC is a great challenge, but that there is also great potential to make lasting change by supporting Congolese-led organizations as they develop and implement Congolese solutions. He announced ECI’s involvement in a new Advisory Council on Child Survival in DRC, which will convene multiple stakeholders who are committed to developing strategies for reducing child mortality in Congo.
To support the Council, ECI announced the completion of our extensive Landscape Analysis: an online, searchable database of Community Based Organizations doing important and impactful work in eastern Congo. Developed in collaboration with USAID, the database will be an important tool for the Council to assess and develop effective solutions for Congolese communities.
Secretary Clinton said Ben is “someone whose work has shined a bright light on the struggles facing the people of Eastern Congo, particularly women and children.” ECI was honored to play such a big part in today’s important announcement and looks forward to supporting the drive to keep kids alive in DRC.
ECI is the first U.S. based public advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo. For more information on the situation in eastern Congo, and the work ECI is doing to support child survival, please visit www.easterncongo.org.