Crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo

Francoise lost six children in the conflict in DRC. She has been displaced to a camp in Bunia with her five remaining children after their village was attacked. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam
Francoise lost six children in the conflict in DRC. She has been displaced to a camp in Bunia with her five remaining children after their village was attacked. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam

Urgent action is needed now in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Millions of people have been forced from their homes due to conflict and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. An outbreak of Ebola virus has spread into the northwest of the country, raising fears of a wider epidemic. Your help can save lives.

Millions facing severe hunger

Fighting has forced four million people to leave their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, making it the largest displacement crisis in Africa. Most of the affected people have received no outside help, while local communities have generously taken people in and offered the modest help they can. 

The conflict has led to an eight-fold increase in hunger. Three full farming seasons have been missed, leading to severe food shortages. Millions still do not have access to clean water, drinking instead from unprotected water sources.

13 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including more than seven million suffering from acute hunger.

The resurgence of Ebola

An Ebola outbreak in the northwest of the country has so far led to more than 50 cases of the disease and more than 20 deaths. DRC regularly has outbreaks of Ebola, but this one has become of larger concern after cases occurred in Mbandaka, an urban area of over one million people.

The outbreak has reduced trade between rural areas such as Bikoro and Iboko, the places worst affected, and Mbandaka. Many people depend on this trade for food and other essentials. Households that have been in contact with a sick person have to rely on assistance because they are asked to stay indoors and avoid going out for three weeks, making it impossible to find food. 

Oxfam is helping local communities by constructing latrines and digging boreholes to provide clean safe water. Photo: Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi/Oxfam

Emergency food, water and sanitation: Oxfam's response

Oxfam is helping more than 400,000 people in the DRC, providing them with emergency food, clean water, sanitation, cash transfers and seeds for crops.

  • We have started to provide food to thousands of people caught up in the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province. We are distributing rice, beans and flour in Mbandaka and plans to extend to rural communities.
     
  • We’re also working with communities to ensure they know how to protect themselves against the virus and prevent its spread. We are installing chlorinated water points in hospitals, health centers, schools and ports, providing disinfection and hygiene kits, and helping to disinfect houses in which Ebola cases have been detected.
     
  • To increase awareness about Ebola, we are providing door-to-door information, working with community relays and carrying out mass outreach activities including film screenings and working with local community radio stations.

With your help we can save lives today.