DR Congo

Emergency alert

DRC is currently facing the worst Ebola outbreak in the country's history. We're on the ground now delivering urgently needed supplies.

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  • Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

UPDATE: Our response to the Ebola outbreak in DRC

The current Ebola outbreak in DRC is now the worst in the country's history. As of January 27, there are 733 cases and 459 deaths.

Mercy Corps is responding at the epicenter of the outbreak in Beni, Butembo, Katwa, Komanda, Mandima, Musinene and Lubero, working on infection prevention and control in health facilities, schools and communities. We are also conducting health and hygiene education and communication campaign in health facilities, schools and other public spaces in collaboration with community organizations and leaders.

While an Ebola vaccine has been created, it is not licensed yet, which coupled with restricted access in the conflict-affected province of North Kivu, limits its usage.

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The context

The Democratic Republic of Congo hosts one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, centered particularly in the east. Despite its vast wealth of human and natural resources, the country struggles with many challenges. A lack of infrastructure, stunted economy and weak governance cause serious hardship and inhibit development efforts.

Over two decades of armed conflict has displaced 4.3 million people within the country. The province of North Kivu hosts a quarter of the internally displaced population, and has become a perpetually insecure and hostile environment.

Demographic pressures, rapid urbanization, food insecurity and youth unemployment compound looming threats on the horizon. The UN reports that 13.1 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance.

  • 9.9 million people are severely food insecure
  • More than 2 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition
  • 6.4 million people are at risk of epidemics, including 4.8 million people who are vulnerable to cholera

Our work

Mercy Corps is responding to the emergency needs of internally displaced people and host communities and strengthening their resilience to recurring stresses and shocks.

  • Emergency response: Providing cash assistance so people can prioritize their own immediate basic needs.
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene: Providing access to safe drinking water for more than 1.5 million displaced and conflict-affected people. Organizing chlorination of communal water sources. Building familial and public latrines. Improving knowledge and practice of basic hygiene behaviors.
  • Education and protection: Facilitating the reintegration of 3,000 displaced out-of-school children into local schools. Training local teachers on trauma and psychosocial support.
  • Food security: Addressing the root causes of food insecurity by increasing the production of smallholder farmers and reducing malnutrition.
  • Economic opportunity: Supporting sustainable livelihood development of small farmers. Promoting links between value chain actors.