In a previously peaceful but deeply impoverished region in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1.4 million people have fled their homes since conflict exploded in 2017.
The equivalent of 8000 people have fled their homes every single day since April 2017—with tens of thousands fleeing to Angola. An estimated 10,0000 children were forced to fight in the local militia, and many more lost family members and their homes. Altogether, 7 million children have been touched by the crisis.
The region is now mostly peaceful, but 700,000 children are suffering from malnutrition, and 400,000 are at risk of dying. Families have spent three growing seasons on the run, and children desperately need help to process their experiences of the conflict, get back into education, and get enough to eat.
What is World Vision doing?
In the Kasais:
World Vision was one of the first humanitarian organisations to begin aid distributions in August last year and to date has reached over 497,016 children and their families.
We’re helping families get enough to eat, reaching 246,676 people with 5,226 metric tonnes of food, as well as 198,527 with $11.1 million in cash vouchers. We’ve also reached over 20,000 children under 5 to treat and prevent malnutrition, and are planning to reach even more in the coming months.
World Vision has also been working with children specifically affected by the crisis, distributing school supplies as part of a back to school campaign, working with 47 schools to train teachers and renovating classrooms in Kasai and Kasai Central, and opening 18 Child Friendly Spaces for children to have a safe space to play. Altogether, we’ve reached 38,164 children through child protection and education programmes.
Families fleeing the conflict and terror in Kasais began arriving in Luanda Norte in Angola from May 2017. Over half of the refugees are children, most of whom have fled with nothing and then spent days and months traveling through the bush in search of safety.
The Angolan government has provided refugees with small plots of land on which to farm until they are ready to be repatriated, but there is no school or other infrastructure in this new town, and many families have fled with nothing.
World Vision Angola began working in Luanda Norte in July 2017 to help the children and families who had fled the Kasais. We’re responding to multiple needs including providing housing, helping families restart farming activities with seeds and chickens, providing emergency food supplies, setting up temporary schools to keep children in education, and working in communities to prevent abuse and keep children safe. To date we’ve reached over 23,000 refugees (out of the 25,000 estimated to still be in Luanda) and are continuing to work with children and their families until they feel it’s safe to go home.