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DR Congo emergency


DR Congo emergency

Insecurity, violence and disasters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have displaced an estimated 5 million people between 2017 and 2019. Hundreds of thousands more have fled to neighbouring countries, as worsening violence destroys lives and livelihoods across the country.
Democratic Republic of Congo. Violence engulfs Congo’s once-peaceful Kasaï region.

Democratic Republic of Congo. Violence engulfs Congo’s once-peaceful Kasaï region.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a complex and challenging humanitarian situation, with multiple conflicts affecting several parts of its vast territory.

Wracked by decades of conflict, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the most complex and long-standing humanitarian crisis in Africa and the fourth-largest IDP crisis in the world. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, with violent intersecting conflicts forcing people to flee their homes and preventing their return. More than 5 million people are displaced within the country, and more than 1 million Congolese have sought asylum, mostly within Africa. The situation is exacerbated by disease outbreaks and natural disasters. At the same time, the DRC hosts half a million refugees from neighbouring countries, three-quarters of whom live outside refugee camps and settlements.

“Armed men killed my wife and three of our children. I don’t know why.”

   Kadima Kabenge, mine worker who fled attacks in Kasai Province

The risk of further displacement is high, as conflicts affect many areas. Protection needs, particularly for the most vulnerable, are enormous, and the challenges of getting aid to those in need are increasing. Strengthening public health, sanitation and water supplies to prevent diseases remains vital.

What is UNHCR doing to help?

UNHCR is assisting people displaced inside the DRC through activities aimed at strengthening the protection of vulnerable people, including women and children.

It also provides shelter materials and cash grants to the most vulnerable and works to strengthen community-based organisations that work for peaceful coexistence while working towards solutions to displacement.

UNHCR is working with the International Organization for Migration to lead the coordination and management of sites hosting internally displaced people (IDPs) in the North Kivu and Tanganyika provinces.

Regionally, UNHCR leads the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP), which brings together partners across seven neighbouring countries hosting Congolese refugees. We provide protection and assistance to Congolese refugees in neighbouring countries, collaborating with authorities and partners.

Refugees, mainly women and children, from countries like the Central African Republic and South Sudan, who have sought refuge in the DRC, also receive life-saving support and international protection through UNHCR and its partners while working towards solutions and sustainability.

For information on UNHCR's operational response, budgets and funding, please visit the DRC page on Global Focus.