Mercy Corps team members are on the ground now delivering urgently needed supplies to help fight an Ebola outbreak that has killed 49 people.Donate now
UPDATE: Our response to the Ebola outbreak in DRC
The country is currently battling its tenth Ebola outbreak, in the conflict-affected and densely populated province of North Kivu. The virus has killed 49 people since August 1.
Mercy Corps is working to help communities near the epicenter of the epidemic to prevent the spread of the disease. Our emergency teams are distributing hand-washing stations for health facilities in Musienene and Lubero districts of North Kivu, which are home to 400,000 people.
We will be following up with additional prevention activities to better improve hygiene, sanitation and access to water for communities in the path of the disease. Read our full statement here ▸
Life in DRC
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 workMercy 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: 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."
DR Congo: A stove to save lives
For 59-year-old Dafroza Baleberaho, building improved cookstoves isn’t just about preventing climate change, it’s about saving women’s lives.
DR Congo: Congo's "conflict charcoal"
Most people have heard of conflict or "blood" diamonds, but fewer may be aware of conflict charcoal. The charcoal trade in Congo's North Kivu Province is primarily controlled by a long-standing rebel group. Much of the charcoal in Goma is produced from trees in Virunga National Park.
DR Congo: A handy gift for Dad
DR Congo: Helping Those With Nowhere Else to Go
Several dozen women stand on jagged volcanic rock in the pouring rain. The drenched clothes they're wearing are among the only possessions they were able to salvage when fleeing burning homes and brutal violence. They've had to drink rainwater from dirty puddles just to survive.
DR Congo: C'est Le Depart
Today, I am leaving Goma to go back home — more than 35 hours of flights and layovers on my way back to Portland, and my family. And, over the course of the morning, I have heard one phrase over and over: "C'est le depart?"
DR Congo: History's Traffic Jam
This afternoon, on the way back to the office from Mugunga II Camp, our team was caught in massive gridlock almost as soon as we hit Goma's city limits. As we inched forward, everyone in our vehicle wondered what could be causing the snarl.
DR Congo: Stronger UN Role is Needed in the Congo
DR Congo: Congo's Hidden Displaced
Her name is Laurene. She lives in a church. She is 10 years old.
DR Congo: What is Happening Here?