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: Inside the Green Rope
It's firewood distribution day here in Buhimba Camp. Hundreds of women, most of whom are elderly, have lined up to wait their turn. A green rope goes up along the perimeter of the wood yard where the distribution will take place.
DR Congo: Stoves vs. Guns
Today is going to be a busy day: I'm visiting four separate displacement camps with our environmental teams. But before that, we have to get out of Goma, and that's not proving easy with heavy traffic, crowds of people and truckloads of soldiers everywhere.
DR Congo: Patience
DR Congo: Plans Change
I got up at 6:30 a.m., packed my bags, ate breakfast and sent off a flurry of emails this morning in preparation for our impending journey to Nyanzale. Our departure as part of a caravan of Mercy Corps vehicles was scheduled for 10 a.m., but various meetings kept delaying that departure.
DR Congo: Fallen Leaders and Uncertain Times
Today is a holiday throughout Congo to commemorate two fallen leaders: Patrice Lumumba and Laurent Kabila. But, in sharp counterpoint to Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the U.S., no one is really talking about this occasion's significance. It seems simply to be a day off.
DR Congo: Just Below the Surface
Goma is proof that appearances can be deceiving.
DR Congo: Tracing History's Route
DR Congo: Returning to Africa
DR Congo: Thousands Besieged in Eastern Congo
Amid the uncertainties of peace negotiations on the heels of ferocious fighting in eastern Congo, Mercy Corps is supplying more than 100,000 displaced people with the most critical resource of all: clean, fresh water.
DR Congo: Congo: Fuel Efficient Stoves
The lives of thousands of people living in the camps of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been dramatically improved thanks to the highly successful Fuel Efficient Stoves project.