Democratic Republic of the Congo

Stranded on the Route to Uganda

Thirty-year-old Viola Roba found a bed in a church in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two weeks again, she took both her children and fled with them from South Sudan to get them to safety. Her husband didn’t make it. Now Viola has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo with her two small children, without any family, without any friends. She would actually like to continue on to Uganda, for she doesn’t see any perspective for herself and her two children in the Congo. The people here have only what they need to survive. There aren’t any organized refugee camps in Azu either. But without any money, she doesn’t know how to manage the nearly 100 kilmeters to Uganda.

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How Malteser International is Helping the People in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Malteser International has been active in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1996 and has carried out a number of projects with regard to water, sanitation and health (WASH) as well as food security since then. Meanwhile, their aid is regionally focused on the provinces Ituri, Haut Uélé and Bas Uélé, where Malteser International has proven itself a reliable and competent partner for local health centers and hospitals. Based on years of experience in the country, they work to further improve the quality of the health system and make it more functional at all levels. The goal is to allow people high-quality access to basic health care. In addition, they are working with communities and villages to expand access to drinking water, to ensure the safe disposal of sewage and garbage, and to convey improved hygiene practices. The conditions for water, sanitation and health are also being optimized at schools and health centers. In light of the refugee influx from neighboring countries, they are promoting improved water, sanitation and health conditions for refugees and returned Congolese people alike, as well as working to ensure free medical care. To avoid tensions between the refugees and the host population, particular care is taken to ensure both groups profit from their efforts.

  • Thirty-year-old Viola Roba found a bed in a church. Along with her two children, she fled from South Sudan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to bring herself and her children to safety. Her husband didn’t survive.

    Photo: Nyokabi Kahura/Malteser International

  • Malteser International is working to further improve the health care system quality in the Congo.

    Photo: Nyokabi Kahura/Malteser International

  • In addition, Malteser International works in communities and villages on developing access to drinking water, providing safe sewage and garbage disposal, and conveying better hygiene practices.

    Photo: Nyokabi Kahura/Malteser International

  • In light of the number of refugees from neighboring countries, Malteser International is fostering better water, sanitation and health conditions for refugees and returning Congolese alike, and is securing free medical treatment.

    Photo: Nyokabi Kahura/Malteser International

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

By size, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country in Africa. Its approximately 80 million inhabitants are distributed across over 200 different ethnic groups. The land is full of resources. For the people in the richest regions, however (especially to the east of the country in the Kivu region), this is more of a course than a blessing. The resources are heavily contested among various rebel groups, warlords and the Congolese government. Civil society often finds itself caught in the lines of fire. Currently, the conflict is escalating as President Joseph Kabila, who has been in office since 2001, refuses to hand over his office or arrange new elections, even though his mandate ended in December 2016.

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