The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s poorest countries, despite being one of the richest in natural resources. Conflict has continuously plagued the country since the First Congo War in 1996.
While a peace agreement was signed by a transitional government in 2003, clashes in the eastern part of the country continue. And in the south, in Kasai, a separate conflict has engulfed the region. Residents live at constant risk of death, sexual violence, and displacement. The human toll of the continued bloodshed cannot be overstated.
Humanitarian crisis at a glance
- 621,711 thousand are refugees in surrounding countries
- 4.3 million people are internally displaced, 1.4 million in Kasai
- 7.7 million face hunger
- 13 million in need of humanitarian assistance
Congo is the most affected country in the world by conflict displacement, for the second year running. On average, 5,500 people flee their homes every single day.
Persistent outbreaks of violence and poor infrastructure means that food production in DRC is 30-40% lower than needed to supply everyone in the country with food. Currently, 7.7. million people are facing some level of hunger, a figure that surged by 30% in 2017. DRC has some of the highest child mortality rates in the world, and nearly half of all children under five are chronically malnourished. The number of children suffering from severe malnutrition stands at 1.9 million, a figure that is more than that of Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria — combined.
More than half of the country — a figure as high as 50 million — doesn’t have access to clean water, and the few existing water points have been destroyed from fighting. Currently, the country is in the grips of a cholera epidemic: more than 500 have died as the disease impacts 20 of the country’s 26 provinces.
- Working with displaced, conflict-affected families and vulnerable households in conflict-scarred North Kivu province.These families are effectively consigned to a life of displacement, unable to return home due to the ongoing conflict. We distribute emergency relief items, such as tarps, hygiene items, and jerry cans, while also helping people recover through access to cash, assets, and livelihoods opportunities. In 2017, Concern assisted almost 4,500 displaced people with relief items.
- Supporting more than 61,000 people with an emergency water, sanitation, hygiene and shelter response in the Tanganyika province where violence has displaced more than half a million, and neighboring Haut Lomami, epicenter of the cholera outbreak. In 2017, Concern also supported nearly 6,000 displaced people with non-food item kits with shelter materials, bedding, kitchen utensils, and basic hygiene items.
- Also in Tanganyika, we lead a consortium of five international non-governmental organizations in a five-year water, sanitation, and hygiene program that directly reaches more than 600,000 people in 692 villages across DRC.
- Implementing an emergency cash transfer response supporting 8,400 displaced people in the province of Lomami, in the east of the Greater Kasai region, Concern is scaling up its response, and will be supporting an additional 7,800 displaced people with cash transfers.