Democratic Republic of Congo

CRS is working with more than 8,000 farmers to improve agricultural outputs by implementing new techniques. Photo by Emilie Greenhalgh/CRS

CRS is working with more than 8,000 farmers to improve agricultural outputs by implementing new techniques. Photo by Emilie Greenhalgh/CRS

With an estimated population of 77 million people, poor resource management and abundant mineral resources, which have been fueling multi-year conflicts leading to all sorts of humanitarian crises for almost two decades, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is at risk of not achieving the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015. In the eastern part of the country, political and ethnic conflicts have led to the displacement of millions of people. In 2013 alone, about 2.9 million people were reported to be displaced, 60% of whom were displaced from the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu.

According to the CIA 2013 World Factbook, substandard socio-economic conditions affect about 71% percent of the population living below the poverty line. Conflicts, corruption and diseases attacking staple crops such as cassava, have affected agricultural output, which have also been on the decline for decades. Health indicators for the under-5 population are similarly bleak. Tuberculosis is one of the five major causes of death among children in the country in addition to malaria, diarrheal diseases, malnutrition, and neonatal complications.

CRS DRC continues to address humanitarian issues in collaboration with church partners, government agencies and other humanitarian actors. In 2014, CRS is projected to aid about 1.4 million direct beneficiaries through its humanitarian programs.

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Stats

Population:75,507,308 (2013 est.)
Size:905,355 sq mi; slightly less than 1/4 the size of the United States
People Served:14,019,295

History

CRS began operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1961 at the invitation of the country's Catholic Episcopal Conference; returned for emergency responses until 1993. Since then the agency has maintained a continuous presence due to permanence of the conflicts, in order to provide timely assistance to populations at risk.

With an initial focus on emergency response programming, targeting regions in the eastern provinces affected by conflicts, CRS has had to expand operations to respond to the growing needs of the population with development programming as well. CRS since then introduced innovative humanitarian approaches, such as the voucher fair methodology, and continues to implement more efficient solutions using technology such as ICT4D for quicker emergency response and for more efficient monitoring and evaluation systems that provide evidenced-based data for improved programming. Many of the partners that benefited from capacity building from CRS these past 20 years are currently independently run entities.

CRS currently operates from a main office in Kinshasa and from provincial sub offices in North Kivu, South Kivu, Kasaï Oriental and Katanga. Between these five offices and six project-specific satellite offices in Bandundu, Equateur, Bas Congo, North Kivu, Katanga and Kasaï Oriental province, 165 staff including 22 expatriates collaborate to manage the agency operations in the DRC in partnership with over 15 local partner organizations.

Partners

Caritas Bukavu
OFDA and Food for Peace

Programs

Agriculture
Education
Disaster Response
Health
Microfinance
Peacebuilding
Water and Sanitation


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