CRS in Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) boasts a large population of 77 million people, vast lands and rivers, and abundant mineral resources. Yet after decades of mismanagement, conflict, and resulting humanitarian disasters, the DRC sits second to last (186 of 187 countries) on the UN’s 2014 Human Development Index. Life expectancy is 50 years, mean years of schooling is 3, and gross national income is $444 per person per year. In the DRC’s east, nearly 3 million people remain displaced from their homes due to political and ethnic conflict.
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 outputs, 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.
Country News and Stories
July 24, 2019
Training and Healing for Congolese Families
A CRS program helps people with HIV return to normal, more productive lives.
July 16, 2019
Struggling Congolese Ease Stress Through Faithful House
Helping couples make decisions together improves finances, strengthens marriages and models healthy living for children.
July 16, 2019
Improving Hygiene and Water Quality in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A CRS project trains workers to help their communities build hygienic latrines and upgrade water sources.
July 16, 2019
Building Resilience Among Vulnerable Congolese Families
CRS joins a consortium to support children and families affected by HIV, helping them return to health and financial stability.
CRS' History in Democratic Republic of Congo
CRS began operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1961 at the invitation of the country's Catholic Episcopal Conference. Since 1993, 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, CRS expanded to development operations to respond to the growing needs of the population. CRS since introduced innovative humanitarian approaches such as the voucher fair. We continue to use more efficient solutions with technology such as ICT4D for faster emergency response and 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.
Today, the DRC is among CRS’s top 12 priority countries, with a FY15 budget of nearly $25 million. CRS DRC currently has over 170 national and 25 international staff operating out of a national office in Kinshasa; four sub-offices in Goma (North Kivu), Bukavu (South Kivu), Kananga (Kasai Occidental), and Lubumbashi (Katanga); and several satellite offices. We count nearly 20 local partner organizations.