DECATUR, Ill., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Howard G. Buffett Foundation today announced a $500,000 grant to the government of the Republic of Uganda to provide assistance to the eastern Congo peace negotiations process and help bring an end to the conflict.
The contribution was announced by Howard G. Buffett, President of the Foundation, upon returning from one-on-one meetings in the region with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
"The solutions to the challenges in eastern Congo require support from the entire region and the political will from all parties to bring about lasting peace," said President Museveni. "Uganda will continue to do what we can to facilitate the negotiations process, and we appreciate Mr. Buffett's contributions to those efforts."
"Our investment in the Great Lakes Region over the past fourteen years has been driven by our mission to preserve natural resources and support communities through agricultural development, water resource management, and conflict mitigation," said Mr. Buffett. "We cannot succeed in our mission when instability and unrest persists. Therefore, we applaud President Museveni and the government of Uganda for accepting a leadership role, and appreciate President Kagame's and President Kabila's efforts to support this process."
After a series of meetings among key leaders in the region, the Ugandan government, current chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, offered to host peace negotiations in Kampala and serve as lead mediator of the process, a leadership role supported by the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The Foundation's grant will support the transportation, lodging and communications costs incurred by the government of Uganda in taking on this role, with the goal of ensuring all parties engaged in the negotiations are provided the opportunity to participate in a fair and inclusive process.
"There have been many misleading accounts about the situation in eastern DRC," said President Kagame. "Mr. Buffett has a long history of working in the region and took the time to come and meet with key stakeholders in person to determine how he and his Foundation could best support the Congolese people in moving towards peace and prosperity. We applaud Mr. Buffett's support for the peace process, to realize our shared belief in the importance of peace and stability for the progress of this region."
The recent conflict in eastern Congo has displaced over 750,000 people from their homes since early May. "There is an intrinsic connection between conflict, hunger and poverty," said Mr. Buffett. "War has a profound economic and political impact, substantially increasing the probability of a recurrence of conflict. We must, once and for all and collectively, support the government of DRC to bring peace to eastern Congo and address the underlying systemic issues that are fueling this cycle of conflict."
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation has invested over $50 million since 1999 and committed an additional $40 million over the next two years to the Great Lakes Region to support food security, economic development and mitigate conflict and its effects.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation works to improve the quality of life for the world's most impoverished and marginalized populations. It focuses on three core areas: food security, water security, and conflict management. Based in Decatur, Illinois, the Foundation is led by President Howard G. Buffett. To learn more about the Foundation visit www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org.
SOURCE The Howard G. Buffett Foundation