In a recent survey for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, aid agencies (including Christian Aid) named the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo the most neglected humanitarian situation in the world in 2017.An unfolding conflict in the Kasai region and continued fighting in South Kivu and Tanganyika have contributed to 1.7 million people being forced to leave their homes, taking the total number of displaced people in DRC to 4.1 million. Combined with existing poverty and insecurity this means that now over 13 million people in the country are reliant on emergency assistance, but UN funds to respond are woefully lacking. A political crisis is also unfolding, with President Kabila refusing to set a date for a long-overdue election, but international diplomatic efforts to help resolve this issue seem very limited.
The size of the whole of Western Europe, DRC is home to huge mineral wealth which, amongst other things, is vital for mobile phone technology, and to a huge swathe of rainforest – one of the world’s most important “lungs”. The scale of untapped human potential is vast and, if stable and well governed, the country could grow enough food and generate enough clean energy to serve the whole continent.
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals cannot be met if poverty in Congo isn’t addressed. The future of the whole of Africa is tied up in the future of DRC and it is a future we should all be concerned about.
Introduction to this Under-reported series.
Summary guide to all under-reported articles in this series.