Democratic Republic of Congo
In addition to the humanitarian context in the east of the country, which continues to be plagued by man-made and natural disasters, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is also at risk of not reaching the Millennium Development Goals.
An estimated 4.4 million, or 31 percent of school-age children in the DRC, are still not enrolled in school and have never been in a classroom, girls especially.
Agricultural output has declined for decades because of ailments and lack of production associated with conflict and corruption. A striking example is loss of cassava—a staple planted on half the arable land—which represents 70 to 80 percent of the Congolese diet. Diseases also affect bananas, requiring particular attention as an area of great potential. Agriculture is the most important economic sector in the DRC, accounting for about half of its GDP.
Causes of mortality among children include malaria, acute respiratory infection, diarrhea, measles, malnutrition and neonatal complications. Also, according to the government's national TB program, TB is one of the 5 major causes of death in the country, accounting for approximately 51,240 deaths each year. Neonatal health will continue to require particular attention to reduce the contribution of neonatal deaths (40 percent) to infant mortality. More than 1 in 25 babies die in the first month of their lives. Most mothers, especially in rural areas, are not accessing prenatal care or critical postnatal care within the first 48 hours following birth.
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|Population:||73,599,190 (July 2012 est.)|
|Size:||905,355 sq mi; slightly less than 1/4 the size of the United States|
|People Served:||1,475,207 (2012 est.)|
Catholic Relief Services began its program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the 1960s at the invitation of the country's Catholic Episcopal Conference and, with the exception of a few brief closures, has maintained a continuous presence since 1993.
CRS has intervened in several program areas over the years, addressing the most urgent and pertinent needs on both the emergency and development sides of the spectrum. After 16 years of armed conflict in the DRC, widespread insecurity persists. Both foreign and local armed groups remain active in many parts of eastern DRC, especially those rich in mineral wealth. Over 2 million currently internally displaced people need basic assistance throughout the country. CRS also found that host populations in areas of large displacement also need assistance.
CRS has offices in South and North Kivu, and base offices in Kalemie (North Katanga), Lodja, Sankuru (Kasaï Oriental), Shabunda (South Kivu), and Dungu (Province Orientale). These offices were established to respond to needs in the most efficient way and assure greater support and close collaboration with local partners, particularly Diocesan Caritas partners from across the country. CRS implements programs in the DRC in partnership with more than 67 local partner organizations.
Water and Sanitation