A peace agreement was signed in 2013 between the armed groups and the government, which saw the Congolese Army gradually retreat, but leaving behind a considerable security void in the eastern part of the country.
Since 2015, there have been fresh spates of violence across the land, frequently triggered by the constantly postponed presidential election, which results in the displacement of thousands more people from all corners of the country. While the number of people displaced internally fell from 2.7 million in 2014 to 1.5 million in 2015, the consequences of these population movements remain catastrophic. 7 million Congolese are experiencing severely substandard sanitary conditions because of the failing health system. The country’s already scarce and deteriorating infrastructures are woefully inadequate, due to poor maintenance, and are overwhelmed by the population influx.
The escalation of conflicts between an armed militia and the central government in the Kasai region has led to abuses against the civilian population, causing both human and material damage (destruction of homes, health centres and schools). More than one million people have had to move and are at risk of food insecurity, including 400,000 children at risk of malnutrition.
The DRC is an area where cholera is endemic, mainly the Katanga zone, and disease is becoming more prevalent because of unsafe hygiene practices and the lack of drinking water supplies for people displaced by the conflict. These people have lost their source of income and their possessions have been ransacked, which places them in a situation of extreme vulnerability and serious food insecurity.
- 70 millions inhabitants
- 63.4% poverty rate
- 178th out of 188 on the Human Development Index
opened in 2000
- Team 18 international staff
206 national staff
- Budget €9.35 M
SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL works in the provinces of South Kivu, North Kivu and Katanga, zones that alone account for 61% of the country’s recorded cases of cholera. We have been able to develop an epidemic warning system by boosting the capacities of communities and local authorities. Awareness campaigns are run alongside a “cash for latrines” scheme that supplies communities with money and training so that they can build their own toilets.
Our teams are also responsible for rehabilitating and disinfecting water points to prevent them from failing and causing an outbreak of cholera; they are also working on extending the water network in the town of Kalemie, located in one of the disease’s biggest outbreak centers. Lastly, a home chlorination program using chlorinated solutions produced by local entrepreneurs is designed to rejuvenate the local market and empower those living there.
In a country suffering the consequences of both cholera epidemics and armed conflict, the humanitarian aid organizations in the DRC are on hand to respond efficiently to emergencies, by means of an emergency response plan for IDPs. One of the other consequences of instability is food insecurity, particularly during the hunger season, when food stocks are almost non-existent. By distributing seeds and organizing food fairs, we are able to help relaunch the local market, to empower locals and help them regain their independence.
To meet the vital needs of people in the Kasai region, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL has set up chlorination points and built sanitation and hygiene facilities, distributing kits of essential items and cash.
Emergency response to population movements
739,250 people helped
– Delivered emergency supply of drinking water
– Constructed latrines, showers, waste holes
– Prepositioned and distributed essential household kits
– Donated essential items
– Organized 40 trade fairs
– Trained community liaisons
Water, sanitation and hygiene
121,900 people helped
– Strengthened empowerment of water point management committees
– Strengthened empowerment of latrine management committees
– Supported chlorine producers
Food security and livelihoods
94,180 people helped
– Distributed agricultural inputs, organized agricultural trade fairs and training sessions
– Created cash-for-work activities
– Provided unconditional cash assistance
– Provided support to communities
– Conducted participatory analysis of risks, vulnerabilities and capacities in event of population movements
Should you have any questions, please contact Thierry Benlahsen,
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At head office