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OCHA hosts briefing on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

24 Feb 2021

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In May 2020, flooding in Kindu, DRC, caused significant damage, including for this family. © OCHA/Alioune Ndiaye

OCHA hosted a virtual briefing today to update United Nations Member States and partners on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where 19.6 million people are in dire need of assistance. 

DRC continues to witness one of the most complex and long-standing humanitarian crises and in 2021, the country’s population will continue to face pressing needs. With 5.2 million displaced persons, DRC currently hosts the second-largest number of internally displaced persons in the world. The country also hosts 527,000 refugees from neighbouring countries.

Food insecurity in DRC has reached very high levels. According to the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, 19.6 million people will face severe and acute food insecurity between January and June 2021. More than 3.4 million children under age 5 suffer from acute malnutrition.

The briefing focused on the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan that appeals for $1.98 billion and outlines how the UN and our humanitarian partners will address the needs of 9.6 million Congolese.

The briefing was moderated by David Carden, Deputy Director of the OCHA Operations and Advocacy Division, who underscored that support for the people of DRC is urgently needed.

“I call on Member States to support the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan now, at the start of the year, to allow humanitarians to reach more people in need with more sustained support. If we do not invest now, we will be forced to spend far more in the future,” Mr. Carden said. 

“In parallel, let us all work together to find durable solutions to the crisis and reduce humanitarian needs in the DRC, so that people can rebuild their lives in dignity and so that in the future we will no longer need to launch a humanitarian appeal,” he added.  

The briefing also included remarks from Steve Mbikayi Mabuluki, Minister of Humanitarian Action and National Solidarity of DRC; David McLachlan-Karr, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in DRC; and Clémence Caraux-Pelletan, Director, INGO Forum Secretariat in DRC.

The full briefing is available on UN Web TV.