LONDON – A report today by the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee, reviewing the status and impact of UK Department for International Development programming in the Democratic Republic of Congo, endorses IMA World Health’s public health programs as successful amid a challenging political and cultural environment.

“We are particularly impressed with the implementation of the ASSP programme by IMA World Health,” the report of Parliament’s International Development Committee states. “This programme displays all of the major factors that we have identified in this inquiry as being important to successful aid projects in fragile and conflict-affected countries such as DRC—flexibility, a long-term focus with strong local partners, and resilience.”

The report, “Fragility and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” follows extensive research and testimony detailing the scope, scale and effectiveness of DfID-supported work in DRC. The country’s decades of instability, violence and political turmoil means supporting development is a high priority for DfID.

IMA World Health DRC Country Director, Dr. Larry Sthreshley, hosted visiting MPs and testified before the Parliamentary committee.

The Access to Primary Health Care Project, known locally as Projet d’Accès aux Soins de Santé Primaire or ASSP, aims to strengthen priority interventions such as the treatment of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea; nutrition; obstetric and neonatal care; family planning; immunization; and water, hygiene and sanitation that are delivered through the health system. ASSP supports an estimated 8,980,238 people across 52 health zones. It is funded by DfID and implemented by IMA World Health.

“IMA World Health’s written evidence lays out the quantitative results, from health service utilisation rising to 52 percent in the focus areas to the cost of care dropping from $3.59 per episode of illness to $1.35.101,” the report found. “We are confident from what we have seen that the Congolese health system as a whole is also being strengthened as a result.

“The ASSP programme in particular is a good model that DfID should draw lessons from for how to implement health programmes in fragile and conflict-affected environments.”

IMA World Health has extensive experience working in high-risk environments. It is one of the few international health service delivery organizations continuing to address critical needs in South Sudan, where the United Nations has declared a state of famine.

Founded in 1960, IMA World Health is a global, faith-based nonprofit that works with communities to overcome their public health challenges.

The Projet d’Accès aux Soins de Santé Primaire, or the Access to Primary Health Care Project (ASSP) is a 5-year, £182.9 million (US $304.5 million) project funded by the department for International development (DFID) through UK Aid and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The ASSP project seeks to improve primary health care in 56 health zones in five provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo – Kasaï Occidental, Maniema, Equateur, Oriental and South Kivu – for a population of 8.3 million people. IMA World Health leads the consortium of implementing partners including SANRU, CARITAS, World Vision and IRC, with technical assistance from Tulane University (in collaboration with the University Of Kinshasa School Of Public Health), Pathfinder, HISP, and IntraHealth.