World Vision started in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1984 with a food program funded by USAID in conjunction with local Christian churches in the Katanga province. In 1998, five Area Development Programs (ADPs) were initiated, shifting World Vision’s focus in DRC to sustainable transformational development activities.
Today there are 93,700 sponsored children in 30 projects across the country, and more than two million people benefit from transformational development programmes including education, health care, water and sanitation, nutrition, food security and Christian Commitments.
DRC has experienced prolonged political instability due to dictatorships, disputed elections, and the resulting internal armed conflicts. Political dissatisfaction is now the source of insecurity in different areas of the country. The country has also suffered widespread natural disasters.
Due in part to this prolonged instability, 60 per cent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day. Government workers often go without pay, and many families do not have access to educational and health facilities. In IDP camps, living conditions are very difficult, and women and children are especially vulnerable.
World Vision is actively engaged in humanitarian and emergency response particularly in the eastern part of the country, focused on food aid, humanitarian protection, nutrition, health care, child friendly spaces (CFS), and reintegration of internal displaced people (IDPs).
Last year, World Vision implemented new strategies in all sectors of intervention in DRC to facilitate increased capacity for emergency response. World Vision also continues to make improvements in the area of child wellbeing in the country. In 2010, the organisation relocated its national offices from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa, in order to strategically be in place to carry out advocacy efforts with decision makers at the national level.
DRC, and especially the eastern part of the country, experiences an ongoing crisis with emergency threats on average every four months, including natural disasters like landslides and volcano eruptions, as well as man-made emergencies related to political uprisings and other events. Attacks by armed groups continue to displace communities, as fighting between government forces and rebels continue. Military operations launched by the national army to combat rebels in 2010 and 2011 led to thousands of people being displaced from their lands.