The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world, and has now experienced for more than 15 years a complex humanitarian crisis, mixing elements of violent and ethnic-characterised conflict in areas where the country’s natural resources are a key target to seize; and widespread health issues such as epidemic outbreaks. In addition to all this, the country experiences grave political instability due to postponed elections. All those aspects converge to a deep protracted crisis, occasioning vast displacements of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees. It is estimated that, out of a total population 77M Congolese, there are some 1.7 million IDPs and almost half a million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries (ECHO, Sep 2016).
Humanitarian needs in country are profound and manifold, ranging from primarily protection concerns to livelihoods, food security and access to basic services for vulnerable displaced and host populations. To allow better understanding of those humanitarian needs and fill information gaps, REACH is supporting humanitarian partners through the following activities:
- Under the framework of REACH partnership with the Global Shelter Cluster, REACH is implementing an assessment to identify shelter needs for protracted IDPs in collective centres, organised camps and host communities, in eastern DRC, targeting the three provinces of Nord Kivu, Sud Kivu and Tanganyika, which are hosting an estimated 1 million IDPs according to the 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview. Additionally, REACH will identify the positive and negative impact of previous shelter interventions on beneficiary livelihoods, disaggregating rural and urban locations in this country area. Findings will be published in December 2016;
- Supporting ACTED in the BPRM-funded project of improving livelihoods and access to WASH services for refugees and vulnerable host communities in the Northern provinces of North and South Ubangi, REACH in coordination with the UNHCR will study the impact of the expansion of Inke refugee camp on natural resources and especially on woods in North Ubangi, through remote sensing analysis, in partnership with REACH’s partner UNOSAT.
- Under the framework of the DFID-funded WASH Consortium, REACH is contributing to the establishment of a database in WASH information in the province of Tanganyika, by providing reference mapping of designated areas in Tanganyika to inform partners about community WASH services locations or lack thereof.