Democratic Republic of Congo

Shutterstock / Heathcliff O'Malley

Country Facts

DRC present since:

2009

Staff on location:

170

Displaced population:

6,217,000

Displacement situation 

Set at the heart of Central Africa, DR Congo is the continent’s 2nd-largest country, and has been the site of recurrent conflict and instability for several decades, particularly since the 1990’s. The combination of long-term political instability, a complex and shifting array of active armed groups, a weak economy, and a broad lack of infrastructure means that many Congolese civilians live in profoundly vulnerable circumstances.   

Despite this challenging national context, DR Congo also plays host to many refugees from neighbouring conflicts, and the country was home to more than 537,000 refugees as of August 2019, mostly from Burundi, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.  

Localised violence in eastern DR Congo, and particularly North and South Kivu provinces, represents a grave risk to civilian populations, with more than 130 different armed groups currently active in Ituri, Tanganyika, and North and South Kivu provinces, attacking civilians and committing war crimes. On top of the above, a local outbreak of Ebola has further endangered the local population. At the end of 2019, DR Congo was home to more than 5.5 million Internally Displaced Persons who had been forced from their homes, mostly in the eastern part of the country 

Despite this continued instability, more than 300,000 Congolese have returned from exile as of October 2018, raising concerns over capacities to receive returnees and their increased vulnerability in the country’s ongoing crises. 

DRC’s response 

DRC is present in North Kivu, Ituri and Haut Uele provinces, where it seeks to enhance the protective environment around displacement-affected populations. DRC’s programmes include protection, child protection, education, provision of shelter, and peacebuilding initiatives. DRC implements a multisectoral approach to meet the needs of children, combining child protection and education. 

DRC’s emergency response in DR Congo supports displacement-affected populations through protection, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and NFI programming. In addition, DRC delivers livelihoods recovery activities in order to facilitate resilience and reduce vulnerabilities.

Contact

Martine Villeneuve

Country Director

[email protected]