Humanitarian and political background
Decades of armed violence, human rights violations, and extreme poverty have displaced millions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A recent surge in violence has made it harder to reach out with aid to the many people who need it.
Two decade-long emergency
DRC has been in a situation of emergency for 20 years. There are few indications that the long-lasting crisis in the eastern part of the country will come to an end anytime soon. In 2015, eastern DRC experienced an upsurge in violence, putting the population at risk.
In the South and North Kivu provinces, thousands of people continue to flee inter-ethnic conflict and attacks by armed groups. An estimated 1.6 million people are displaced in eastern DRC, and a total of 7.5 million people in the country are in need of humanitarian aid.
As violence spread in 2015, it became harder to deliver aid. Several international NGOs experienced severe security incidents and kidnappings. Insecurity is among the greatest challenges faced by international NGOs in the country.
Burundians fleeing to DRC
Since the eruption of the political crisis in Burundi in April 2015, hundreds of Burundians have been killed and nearly 245,000 fled to neighbouring countries such as DRC. As of February 2016, more than 20,000 Burundian refugees have arrived in South Kivu.
People we helped in the DR Congo in 2015
NRC in the Democratic Republic of Congo
From our 10 field offices in DRC, NRC strives to cover the basic needs of people affected by displacement.
We assist displacement-affected people in DRC, whether they are displaced or members of host communities. We provide water and sanitation services, food security, education and give people legal advice.
When I go to school, I am not afraid of anything, but the others do not understand how I can go to school when I already have a child! I say that if I go to school, it is precisely because I want to help others. Even if they laugh at me, I let them talk, I go to school anyway.
Francoise (15) has a one-year-old son named Chance. Pinga, DRC (2015)
By providing access to quality education in a safe environment, NRC supports children and youth in playing an active role in the peaceful development of their communities.
Our education activities:
- Provide children with education and protection through emergency teacher packages, youth programmes and education in emergency projects.
- Spread knowledge among community members and local authorities on the importance of education and child protection, and how they can actively promote children's rights.
- Train teachers on psychosocial support.
In DRC, we support people affected by displacement with food assistance. We also strive to prevent their resources from eroding.
Our food security activities:
- Give trainings sessions on agricultural production and how to best take care of farm animals.
- Distribute seeds, livestock and agriculture tools.
- Support people in developing activities that generate income.
- Bring small farmers closer to the markets and other social services by rehabilitating roads.
We support the construction of school buildings to create environments where children and families can safely learn and live.
Through our shelter activities, we:
- Support construction of schools and classrooms.
- Support construction of family shelters and community infrastructures.
- Collaborate with local communities to facilitate a sustainability process.
Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA)
We help people learn about and exercise their property rights and obtain civil documentation.
Our ICLA activities aim to:
- Provide information, trainings and dispute resolution services so that people can learn about and exercise their property rights.
- Resolve land conflicts.
- Increase tenure security.
- Help people obtain civil documentation, particularly birth and marriage certificates.
- Integrate greater protection for women's rights into activities.
- Emphasise equal access to land and women's security of tenure.
We construct and repair water points and latrines and spread knowledge about safe hygiene practices to people affected by displacement.
Our WASH activities aim to:
- Facilitate access to clean water and latrines.
- Reduce mortality.
- Encourage participation and enhance best practices.
Access urgently needed to 30,000 people displaced in eastern DRC
The Norwegian Refugees Council is extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation faced by communities in Mpati, in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Fighting blocks civilians' access to aid
Heavy fighting in eastern parts of DR Congo blocks people from accessing emergency relief. “The repeated rounds of fighting have severe consequences for the civilians”, said Mickael Amar, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council.