Democratic Republic of the Congo
People Helped in 2017: 378,898
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Africa’s second largest country, with great mineral and natural resources. From 1998 to 2002, it was at the center of “Africa’s World War,” which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 5.4 million people from violence, hunger, and disease. In 2006, the country successfully held its first multiparty presidential elections in 60 years.
However, hopes for stability gave way to volatility in the country’s five eastern provinces, fueled by sustained conflict among regional militias, ethnic groups, armed groups from neighboring countries, and government forces. As a result of these factors, DRC is enduring an entrenched, complex humanitarian crisis. An alarming 23 percent of children are acutely malnourished, and seventy percent of the population lack adequate access to food.
The humanitarian crisis in the DRC worsened and spread in 2017, particularly to the Kasai region. More than 13.1 million people, including 7.7 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. 7.7 million people are suffering from serious food insecurity, with more than 2 million cases of severe acute malnutrition reported.
With 4.1 million internally displaced persons in 2017 and 526,000 refugees have sought refuge on Congolese territory, the DRC is now the African country most affected by population movements. The main factors in the crisis are: an escalation in violence, extreme poverty, lack of access to healthcare, poor provision of water, sanitation and hygiene, and an economic crisis. Humanitarian access is restricted due to high security risk, the lack of infrastructure and insufficient funding.
We responded to ten nutritional crises in 2017, with emergency actions in different provinces of the DRC. Our activities in North and South Kivu helped combat the cholera epidemic. In North Kivu, we assisted displaced populations with emergency distributions, improved hygiene and sanitation, and provided support for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. In Kasai, we mobilized all our expertise to respond to a sudden multisectoral crisis. We distributed food and essential household items, and implemented nutrition, primary health and mental health actions and care practices.
We obtained three-year funding to combat the causes of undernutrition in Central Kasai with a multisectoral intervention in food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and care practices. Finally, advocacy activities were conducted in cooperation with other organizations.