A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Democratic Republic of Congo
One of Africa’s largest countries, with a population of 65 million, DRC is ranked in the bottom 10 countries worldwide on the Human Development Index, despite its vast potential wealth. Years of conflict have created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
- An estimated 5.4 million people have lost their lives since 1998, most of them from preventable diseases.
- In 2012, there were 2.2 million internally displaced persons in the DRC, the highest in three years.
- An additional 60 000 people fled into neighboring Uganda and Rwanda from the fighting last summer.
While DR Congo is a country abundantly rich in resources, it has struggled to realize its full potential since independence.
Oxfam in the Democratic Republic of Congo
We work with communities that are hosting tens of thousands of displaced people in the east of the country. Our focus is on providing clean water and sanitation facilities to minimize the spread of disease.
One in three Congolese children do not get the chance to go to school. Oxfam is working to improve the quality of basic education and increase school enrolment, especially among girls. We train teachers and have been refurbishing schools, making them rainproof and supplying them with desks.
Malnutrition is widespread, and there is a serious lack of healthcare. We work to improve hospital facilities in the capital, Kinshasa, and to promote good hygiene practices among displaced communities living in temporary shelters.
An upsurge of fighting in eastern Congo has seen communities torn apart, homes burned to the ground, and thousands of women have been raped. A government military offensive, backed by the United Nations, has made the situation even more dangerous for Congolese civilians.
In the northeast of the country, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has terrorized civilians for years, attacking villages, abducting women and children, and destroying livelihoods. Oxfam is providing clean water to communities, hospitals and schools in the region, and works to provide support to people living with HIV and AIDS.
We have expanded our emergency response to deal with the deteriorating situation, providing vital assistance to 800,000 vulnerable people.