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
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.
DR Congo: Distributing food to overwhelmed camps
Mercy Corps has distributed food to more than 11,000 families who were displaced after Goma was captured by M23 rebels two weeks ago.
DR Congo: Supplying water to the newly displaced
Mercy Corps is supplying emergency water services and sanitation supplies to meet the needs of newly displaced families in the beleaguered city of Goma — and to stem the outbreak of waterborne disease.
DR Congo: Monitoring needs as Goma falls
Mercy Corps is monitoring humanitarian needs as the situation unfolds in eastern Congo, where rebel forces have taken control of Goma, the capital of Congo's war-torn North Kivu province.
DR Congo: Fighting the cholera epidemic in emergency camps
Cholera is raging across the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the last year, more than 22,000 people have been infected – 1,600 of those in the last four weeks alone.
DR Congo: Patience and Promise
These two girls live in a displacement camp in eastern Congo.
DR Congo: Boy in Buhimba IDP camp, Congo
A boy living in the Buhimba camp for families displaced by war, outside the city of Goma, DR Congo.
DR Congo: A day of peace in Congo
Around the world, people took a moment to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The Mercy Corps team in Nyanzale, Democratic Republic of the Congo took time to celebrate the call for ceasefire and non-violence with the communities from displacement camps and Nyanzale town.
DR Congo: In Congo, saving trees and lives
Last November and December I was working with Mercy Corps in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I had the chance to make a photo essay on our work that the BBC is featuring on their website.
DR Congo: Secretary Clinton visits the most dangerous place to be a woman
While her husband's trip to North Korea to release two American women journalists has recently dominated headlines, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes on a mission that has the potential to save countless women's lives. As part of her seven nation tour of Africa, Mrs.
DR Congo: Simple things can make the biggest difference in the DRC
When asked by family or friends after a field visit, "How was your trip?" or "What's new in Africa?" I'm often guilty of giving oversimplified responses, though I realize our programs go way beyond "fine" and "interesting."