Democratic Republic of Congo
Intervening on behalf of vulnerable and displaced people
© 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
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 actions help change the way people see disability
DR Congo, March 2012. Nzuzi cannot walk. But her parents still decide to send her to school. She goes on to become a lawyer and the family’s main breadwinner. Is this a symbol of hope? Of course. But it’s also a success story that the managers of Kinshasa’s inclusive education project would like to see repeated more often.
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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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A long-term project that creating Community Rehabilitation Committees in charge of identifying, following up and referencing persons with disabilities. The project is now focusing on empowering the established committees to defend the rights of people with disabilities, training their members and developing 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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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.