Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Humanity & Inclusion promotes access to school for children with disabilities and provides support to people affected by the chronic humanitarian crisis, facilitating access to mental health and rehabilitation care.
In 2022, thanks to the support of HI, Dieudonné obtained an artificial limb and is undergoing rehabilitation in Kinshasa. | © T. Freteur / HI
Humanity & Inclusion’s program in the Democratic Republic of Congo aims to strengthen the inclusion in society of people with disabilities, notably by facilitating their access to health care. The program's mobile teams provide medical and mental health assistance to people from both refugee and host communities in North Kivu. HI also raises awareness of disability issues in communities to facilitate the inclusion and support of children with disabilities. Teams train health professionals to take better care of their needs. In order to improve access to humanitarian services for the population, HI is repairing roads and developing road infrastructures.
HI also works in the field of inclusive education to strengthen access to education for children with disabilities. The program works with communities and government services to improve the early detection of disability and facilitate the care of children, strengthening skills and knowledge of functional rehabilitation and physical therapy services for young children.
Lastly, HI provides support to people living in areas affected by a chronic humanitarian crisis. In Kasai, the program improves the food security of the affected populations by supporting agricultural recovery to prevent malnutrition. In particular, teams provide training in good farming practices and distribute seeds to the communities.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a major humanitarian and health crisis that affected more than 25.6 million people in 2020, including over 15 million children.
The second largest country in Africa, DRC has a history of power struggles over its wealth. This is still the main cause of most of its troubles.
The crisis in the DRC today is the consequence of decades of local and regional insecurity, particularly in the eastern provinces. Over the years, armed conflicts and multiple inter-community violence have left the population in a vulnerable situation. New conflicts emerged in 2016, affecting previously untouched provinces such as Kasai, generating a sharp increase in the number of people in need. In addition, since 2018, repeated epidemics (ebola, measles, cholera, Covid-19) have broken out and spread in several provinces, undermining an already weakened population and health system. This situation has led to numerous displacements of people within the country and to neighboring countries. Today, the total number of internally displaced people in the DRC is nearly 4.86 million.
Significant improvements in the socio-economic situation of the DRC, long hoped for by the population, are still not forthcoming, despite the obvious presence of wealth and financial resources. However, progress is visible in terms of life expectancy, school enrollment and gross national income per capita. But this discreet progress in socioeconomic indicators does not reflect the reality of much of this vast country, and inequalities remain a major cause for concern in most places. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Congolese state budget was reduced by 40% between 2020 and 2021, despite already being notoriously insufficient.
Number of HI staff members: 133
Date the program launched: 1995