Democratic Republic of Congo
Humanity & Inclusion works to promote the access of children with disabilities to school in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It also provides support to people affected by a chronic humanitarian crisis in North Kivu, and to conflict victims in Kasai.
Assessing living conditions in Democratic Republic of Congo - Humanity & Inclusion. | © Till Mayer / Handicap International
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HI has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1994. In Kinshasa, the capital, HI is highly active in the field of disability prevention, and mother and child health represents a particularly serious challenge. The organisation also campaigns to promote improved road safety, as road accidents are another major cause of disability in the country. In Kinshasa and Kananga, HI is also working to improve rehabilitation services, notably by training orthoprosthesists and producing mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs, etc.).
HI promotes the full inclusion of people with disabilities in society, and is campaigning for children with disabilities to have access to education - especially girls. The organisation also supports Congolese organisations that advance the rights of people with disabilities.
In North Kivu, HI provides support for the most vulnerable in the zones affected by the chronic humanitarian crisis in the region. In North Kivu and Kasai, HI is also improving the case-management of disabilities and the post-operative follow-up of victims of armed conflict in health care facilities and rehabilitation centres. The organisation also coordinates a logistics platform designed to help humanitarian aid to reach the remotest areas, in collaboration with other national and international organisations, and the United Nations. In particular, it provides these actors with a fleet of trucks and an equipment storage facility. In Kasai, HI is improving the food safety of affected populations (food distributions). The organisation also enables victims to benefit from rehabilitation care and psychological support.
Lastly, the organisation raises the awareness of humanitarian organisations to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable people, in order to ensure they are included in the services these organisations provide.
Situation of the country
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, access to quality health care is problematic for most of the country’s inhabitants.
This country, the second-largest nation in Africa, is ranked 176 out of 188 countries in the human development index (HDI). The seriously dilapidated state of the country’s roads and sanitary facilities, and the extreme poverty afflicting the majority of its inhabitants have significant consequences in terms of health. The problems affect the whole of this vast country.
In addition, for more than fifteen years now, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been destabilised by an alarming humanitarian crisis, which affected more than 7.3 million people in 2016, of which 6.9 million need emergency aid, including 4.2 million children. This crisis is the result of a decades-long unstable local and regional security situation, mainly affecting the country’s eastern provinces. Over the years, multiple armed conflicts and intercommunity violence have left the population highly vulnerable. New conflicts broke out in 2017 affecting previously untouched provinces, such as the Kasai region and Tanganyika. This has severely disrupted the transport of humanitarian aid.
The DRC is also regularly affected by epidemics (cholera etc.), increased exposure to natural disasters and widespread poverty and insecurity. There have also been large population movements both within the country and of refugees from neighbouring countries.