Background of the Forgotten Humanitarian Crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Both Rich and Poor

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is both a rich and a poor country at the same time. By size, the DR Congo is the second largest country in Africa. About 80 million people live here. Although the land has many resources such as gold, tin and coltan, due to decade-long wars, exploitation and corruption, today it counts as one of the poorest countries in the world. In the 2015 Human Development Index of the United Nations, the DRC was ranked place 176 of 188.

Especially remote provinces in the east of the country are struggling with large problems with infrastructure. The population’s situation is marked by low life expectancy, high infant mortality, and chronic malnutrition. In large parts of the country, medical care is insufficient or unaffordable for many people due to the lack of money.

In addition, political instability in neighboring countries such as Burundi, the Central African Republic and South Sudan has been causing more and more people to flee across the border to seek refuge in the DR Congo. There are also many Congolese people returning home, who had fled to neighboring countries during the previous unrests and are now returning to their homeland.