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Democratic Republic of Congo

Intervening on behalf of vulnerable and displaced people

A person on crutches walking through a refugee camp, DR Congo
© P. Lefolcalvez/Handicap International

The Democratic Republic of Congo is striving to recover from the five-year conflict of 1998-2003 which led to mass population displacement. Eastern parts of the country remain beset by violence. Handicap International has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1995. Our activities include long term development work, as well as providing emergency humanitarian aid to refugees and displaced people in the east of the country.

Key Facts - DR Congo

• Population: 67.8 million
• Household Consumption: $154 per year
• Life Expectancy: 48 years
• Human Development: 187th out of 187
Source: UNDP HDR 2011

Charles Coly training with a MineWolf machine, on a military compound near Kisangani
Handicap International launches new demining operations in Democratic Republic of Congo
Handicap International has recently begun a new demining initiative in the provinces of Orientale and Maniema in the north of Democratic Republic of Congo, a country where we have worked for nearly twenty years.
DR Congo emergency
Democratic Republic of Congo: Handicap International responds to influx of refugees
DR Congo, 5th June 2013. Fighting between the March 23rd Movement (M23) and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) resulted in large population movements in North Kivu at the end of May. Handicap International is taking emergency action to provide shelter for these refugees.
Kalu Blessing: the story of a fighter
DR Congo, May 2012. Ever since she was born, 8-year old Blessing has had to fight for her rightful place in society, supported by her family and with regular help from Handicap International.

Our projects

landmines logo Demining operations
Handicap International has launched new demining activities in the provinces of Orientale and Maniema in order to clear 30,000 square metres of land from landmines and other explosive weapons. The demining team use a model for demining based on the deployment of deminers, specially trained demining dogs and mine clearance machines.
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Assistance to refugees
- In the Kinshasa region: Food distribution to Angolan refugees in the Kahemba region, rebuilding roads and bridges, and management of logistics and transport with UNHCR
- In the South Kivu region: Support for repatriated refugees through the construction and rehabilitation of shelters for refugees, improving sanitation and managing the logistics of repatriations.
- In the Bunia region: Reconstruction of the Beni-Bunia road to improve access for humanitarian organisations, as well as rehabilitating health centres and agricultural infrastructure. This is carried out through a “cash for work” scheme, enabling families to earn an income and helping demobilize former members of militias.

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Emergency response mission
- Delivery of food and humanitarian aid
- Dealing with the influx of thousands of displaced people
- Establishment of help points for vulnerable groups and displaced people.

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Community-based Rehabilitation
A long-term project will see the creation of Community Rehabilitation Committees. These committees will champion the rights of people with disabilities and offer training that will enable members to develop revenue-generating activities.

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Mother and child health
This project emerged in mid-2008 with the aim of reinforcing the staff capacities of several health and motherhood centres in the prevention of disability at birth.

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Inclusive education
This project was launched in Kinshasa in 2007 with the objective of making two partner centres into reference models for the education of children with disabilities. Handicap International teams also participated in the thematic group on education within the framework of the global plan for reducing poverty, as a review of the Congolese education system.

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Action on mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO)
This project in Kisangani province includes data collection, mine clearance, and marking of contaminated zones as well as awareness-raising through local prevention committees. Community surveys have also been conducted into the impact of mines and UXO in North Kivu and the Western Province.

Institutional funding

Handicap International's emergency actions in the Democratic Republic of Congo are (or have been previously) funded by:

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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

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