Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Between war and cholera
4,129 cases of cholera were recorded in 2015
10% of children under 5 in eastern DRC are suffering from acute malnutrition
400,000 people have been displaced by military operations in the East
955,330 people helped

Context

The Democratic Republic of Congo is prey to severe conflicts, chiefly caused by the diversity and wealth of resources in certain regions.

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 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

Our action

  • Mission
    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.

Partners

UNICEF, UNDP, ECHO

Our impact

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

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

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 Caroline Courtois

Caroline Courtois

In the world

Vacancies

20
At head office
34
Worldwide
7
Internships