The dramatic deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017 has forced humanitarian actors to launch an appeal for US$ 1.68 billion for 2018, the largest ever funding appeal for the country.
The humanitarian situation has drastically worsened over the last year. A surge of violence forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee. The country is already beset with one of the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian emergencies. Food insecurity and malnutrition have deteriorated. A 30 per cent increase from 2017 year means that now 7.7 million people are left food insecure and over 2 million children at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Girls and women have suffered horrific sexual and gender-based violence. 4.3 million of people are struggling to survive in displacement. Overall, 13.1 million people urgently require humanitarian assistance.
The funding is needed to urgently assist some 10.5 million Congolese people in 2018. Geographical expansion of the humanitarian needs and worsening situations in existing crisis hotspots all require a step change of the response of the international community to address life-threatening humanitarian and protection needs.
With 1.9 million people who were newly displaced in 2017, DR Congo is the African country with the highest number of displaced persons. On the health front, 2017 recorded the worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths; over 42,000 measles were also recorded in 2017.
“The past year has been one of the most difficult for millions of civilians, with the unrelenting cycle of violence, diseases, malnutrition and loss of livelihoods taking a toll on families. Today’s appeal reflects the magnitude, severity and unpredictability of a crisis that has gone on for far too long. We are grappling with one of the world’s largest, most acute, and complex humanitarian crisis”, Humanitarian Coordinator Kim Bolduc today said in Kinshasa.
This bleak outlook is taking place as funding for humanitarian action in the DRC is particularly low. Only half of the $812.5 million appealed for in 2017 was received. While the Kasai crisis continues to require great attention, North Kivu is the single most affected province most affected by population movement and related needs.
For 2018, the updated plan estimates that boys and girls below 18 years old make up 60 percent of those in need. Close to 50 percent of the funding would go towards emergency health and life-saving food security projects. “Without the essential support of the humanitarian community, the survival of thousands of people is at risk, and hopes of early recovery will be dashed. We must ensure sufficient funding so to match the magnitude of the crisis”, Bolduc today said.