The population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has seen political instability, ethnic rivalry and violent conflict for 20 years. Still, there are few indications that the long-lasting crisis will come to an end anytime soon. In October 2017, the UN declared the violent conflict an L3 crisis – its highest level of emergency, on par with emergencies like Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The humanitarian situation in DR Congo is escalating towards a regional crisis. Today, over 4.4 million people are displaced, and many have fled to Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, and most recently to Uganda.
In addition, DR Congo struggles to feed its food-insecure population. Over 10 per cent of the DR Congo’s people require food assistance, with millions of people surviving on less than a meal a day.
Meanwhile, heavy rains, lack of potable water and proper sanitation facilities have exacerbated an already critical cholera epidemic across the country.
People we helped in DR Congo in 2017
After 20 years in a cycle of conflict, the crisis in DR Congo receives little media coverage and not enough funding. As a result, organisations, including NRC, struggle to meet the growing needs of the conflict-stricken population.
Our emergency teams remain present in the largest conflict areas: North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, Ituri, Kasai, and Tanganyika. In addition to providing food and shelter, our response also aims to offer long-term solutions.
We provide quality education in secure school settings. Our education activities include:
- education in acute Emergencies (EiE) to ensure the uninterrupted and cost-free continuation of education for displaced children
- alternative and Accelerated Education (AE) Programmes, which target overaged children who have fallen outside the formal education system. Through non-formal education, these programmes aim to reintegrate adults back to formal education
- youth education to provide vulnerable youth with vocational and life skills so they can be a positive resource for their communities
- training of school staff, authorities and parents in order to promote durable solutions for youth and children to recover from their trauma or difficulties.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
We inform, counsel and offer legal assistance on matters pertaining to Housing, Land and Property rights (HLP) as well as legal identity documentation for displaced and stateless people.
In 2018, we will:
- provide access to land for displaced persons and returnees through mediation and negotiation with land owners and relevant authorities
- inform and counsel internally displaced persons and orphans on the civil registration process
- conduct research on access to civil and identity documentation for Rwandan and Burundian refugees in DR Congo
Livelihoods and food security
NRC has an extensive experience in providing emergency and non-emergency assistance in Food Security in DRC. Our main activities are:
- improving food diversity both in emergency response with mobile teams and for longer term food security assistance
- cash based interventions for improved food security
- agricultural assistance, including seeds, tools and livestock
- promoting entrepreneurship by providing trainings on income generating activities, to ensure that people better adapt and withstand future shocks and crises
Shelter and settlements
In recent years, NRC has mainly worked on providing emergency shelters along with the distribution of non-food items, including plastic sheeting. In 2018, we are widening our response to address sustainable and durable shelter solutions. The planned activities are:
- cash-based interventions as well as vouchers to buy non-food items and emergency shelter materials
- shelter construction and repair with the participation of the local community
- rehabilitation of community infrastructure
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
Our WASH team works to ensure that people affected by displacement have sufficient access to safe water, sanitation facilities, and can take action to protect themselves against diseases. The main activities include:
- rehabilitation of water points, as well as supporting existing maintenance committees
- treatment of water sources
- rehabilitation/construction of boreholes with hand pumps in addition to family latrines and showers
- promotion of good hygiene practices through information sessions
- training on solid waste management to reduce garbage where disease-carrying mosquitos or vermin can breed
- training community members and local health officers to spread information about hygiene and sanitation
About NRC in (country)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation (Norad)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Country DirectorUlrika Blom
Phone+240 (0) 81 08 69 030 / 99 04 39 211
Scaling up in DRC
DRC’s conflict escalated and spread in 2017, creating one of the world’s largest displacementcrisis. To reduce needs and vulnerabilities in the long run, the humanitarian response planrecommends stronger synergies between humanitarian and development work.
Help that eases
"I can finally sleep on a mattress again. I am really relieved that I don’t have to sleep on the ground anymore," said Kawambe, one of the estimated 70,000 displaced people in DR Congo’s Ituri province who have received assistance from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).