Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is still recovering from years of war and political upheaval, and continues to face significant humanitarian challenges. In 2012, the DRC ranked 27th out of 79 countries on the Global Hunger Index. About 70 percent of the population lacks access to adequate food, while one out of every four children is malnourished (WFP 2012). Six out of eleven of the country’s provinces continue to experience general acute malnutrition rates above 10 percent; several provinces (Maniema and Kasai) have rates above 17 percent. Altogether, in 2011 an estimated 4.5 million people experienced food crisis in DRC. The problems caused by the country’s political strife have been exacerbated by population displacement, low agricultural productivity, lack of basic infrastructure, and lack of access to social services such as water and health services.

Population displacement remains one of the largest causes of food insecurity and chronic poverty in the country. As populations become displaced due to violence, harvesting activities are disrupted and the food security of entire communities becomes threatened. In 2011, an estimated 1.7 million people were displaced.

A lack of basic health services and access to care also poses a significant challenge to economic and humanitarian development. The spread of HIV/AIDS remains a considerable threat. In 2011, several disease outbreaks hit the country, including cholera, polio, and measles.