The Netherlands contributes to a safer and more stable Great Lakes region. The security situation, notably in - but not limited to - eastern DRC, remains difficult and the risk of large-scale conflict is still present, which means that efforts to prevent conflict and promote stability remain important. The overarching goal of the Great Lakes programme is to contribute to stability and mitigate the consequences of conflict through the improvement of human security, inclusive growth and access to natural resources (such as land). A good presence in the region and the close collaboration between embassies on political and development activities makes the Netherlands an appreciated and reliable partner.
The Great Lakes programme contains activities included within the Dutch priorities for development co-operation: security and rule of law, food security, integrated water management, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The project activities work to address a number of drivers and causes of conflict from a political, economic, social and environmental perspective. The scale of the challenges and complexity of the context in this region (the level of human suffering, the security situation, the weak or sometimes absent government structures, infrastructural challenges) make project implementation a challenge.
The translation of project results into political engagement and vice versa is an essential part of the new regional strategy. It is also one of its main challenges.