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Democratic Republic of Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, HI promotes access to school for children with disabilities and provides support to people affected by the humanitarian crises, notably by facilitating access to mental health and rehabilitation care.

 In 2022, thanks to the support of HI, Dieudonné obtained a prosthesis and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Cliniques Universitaires de Kinshasa.

In 2022, thanks to the support of HI, Dieudonné obtained a prosthesis and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Cliniques Universitaires de Kinshasa. | © T. Freteur / HI

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In the DRC, HI’s programme provides support for the most vulnerable in areas affected by a chronic humanitarian crisis. It is improving access to healthcare, particularly for people with disabilities and displaced people. To this end, our teams provide medical and psychosocial assistance to vulnerable populations in North Kivu, including refugees and host communities. They offer psychological first aid and psychosocial assistance to help people who have suffered violence to deal with the trauma experienced. They also work to identify people's priority needs and train community agents to raise awareness among their peers of the risks involved and the help available.

To improve access to humanitarian services, HI is rehabilitating roads and road infrastructure. A storage and transport service is provided to other humanitarian actors who use it to deliver services and goods to the affected populations.

HI also provides prostheses, orthoses and other mobility aids to people with disabilities, enabling them to regain a degree of independence and to be better integrated into social life. Our teams work with local players and health centres to provide quality rehabilitation services. They also work with young children who have suffered from malnutrition, offering individual sessions of stimulation therapy aimed at encouraging development through play. Parents are trained in good practices, which they can replicate when their child returns home.

In Kinshasa, HI continues to work with children aged 0 to 12 who either have a disability or are at risk of developing one. Our teams facilitate their access to rehabilitation care and health centres for early intervention to prevent developmental delays. They also train health, education and social workers in how to support children with disabilities.

Finally, HI works in the field of inclusive education to improve access to schooling for children with disabilities, particularly girls. Our teams work with communities and educational stakeholders to improve the accessibility of schools and provide appropriate support for the children.

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Situation of the country

Map of Humanity & Inclusion's interventions in DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing a major humanitarian and health crisis that affected more than 26.4 million people in 2022, including 14.2 million children.

The DRC, which is the second largest country in Africa, has a history of power struggles over its wealth. This is still the root cause of most of its troubles.  

The current crisis is the consequence of decades of local and regional insecurity, particularly in the eastern provinces. Over the years, armed conflicts and recurrent inter-community violence have left the population very vulnerable. The end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 were marked by the resurgence of the M23 armed group in the province of North Kivu, triggering massive population displacements in the area. In the Kasai region, inter-community conflicts caused by increased competition for access to political and customary power persisted throughout 2022, as did tensions over the control of economic and land resources. Finally, in the Maï-Ndombe province in the west of the country, a new crisis emerged, with violent inter-community clashes in the Kwamouth territory since June 2022.

Multi-sectoral humanitarian needs persist, particularly in the areas of health and nutrition, including the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition (an estimated 3.6 million people are suffering from acute malnutrition in 2023), access to water and hygiene, food security and protection. In addition, since 2018, a series of epidemics (Ebola, measles, cholera, Covid-19 and monkey pox) have broken out and are spreading in several of the country's provinces, further weakening an already fragile population and health system.

There are still no signs of the significant improvements in the socio-economic situation long hoped for by DRC’s population, despite the obvious presence of wealth and therefore financial resources. Progress is visible in terms of life expectancy, school enrolment and gross national income per capita. However, this discreet progress in socio-economic indicators does not reflect the reality of much of this vast country, and inequalities remain a major cause for concern in most places. The health crisis caused by Covid-19 has had a major effect on the country's socio-economic indicators. Global inflation since 2022 has also had repercussions on the Congolese economy, with an inflation rate of 13.1% in 2022 and 20% since the start of 2023.

Number of HI staff: 150 people

Programmed opened in: 1995

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