Linking emergency response and longer term recovery
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to be shaken by the consequences of decades of civil war. The security situation remains highly unstable in the Eastern region, where armed groups lead local populations to flee their homes, resulting in 1.6 million Internally Displaced People (IDPs) registered in September. The political fragility, combined with the lack or deterioration of infrastructures, hamper access to basic services. In precarious situations, IDPs face chronic food insecurity or diseases related to a lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). In this context, ACTED is focusing on emergency interventions in order to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations, while also supporting the country’s recovery.
Providing a multisectorial, mobile emergency assistance to refugee, displaced and returnee populations
In 2015, ACTED provided assistance to displaced people, returnees, and host populations in the Eastern part of the country, but also to Central African refugees in the North-Western region. Population displacements are putting further pressure on resources and infrastructures that are already insufficient or damaged after years of war. Vulnerable households are forced to adapt at the expense of their health, education, safety or dignity. ACTED offers a mobile and adapted assistance to the most vulnerable, through the provision of clothes, food, households items and agricultural tools, as well as through the rehabilitation of existing WASH infrastructures coupled with hygiene promotion to reduce the risks of epidemics.
Preparing the ground for the country’s resilience and longer term development
The country struggles to recover from a chronic emergency situation. Every year, new population displacements are upsetting the already precarious balance, and are widening urgent needs. In certain areas of South Kivu and of the former Katanga provinces, benefitting from relative stability, ACTED initiated more sustainable activities aiming at strengthening the population’s resilience: for example, ACTED proposed trainings on the use of farming inputs benefitting 17,475 people, and supported the development of income generating activities for 9 merchants associations. Furthermore, 2015 marked the reinforcement of ACTED’s involvement in the country’s stabilization process together with Alliance2015 members, and the launch of a 5-year support project for the Structuring of the Civil Society in the DRC.
Facilitating improved coordination and cooperation among humanitarian actors
ACTED commits to consolidating humanitarian coordination in the country. In fact, ACTED is not only recognized for the work of its evaluation and information management team that supports decision making through interactive information management tools (maps, reports), but also for its logistical capacity to access hard to reach areas. In 2015, ACTED teams conducted important logistical and infrastructure works in South Kivu in order to rehabilitate arterial roads enabling humanitarian actors to deliver assistance, in close coordination with the various humanitarian working groups and clusters.
2016, towards enhancing vulnerable populations’ resilience
ACTED’s mission in DRC continued to focus on emergency mobile response actions in 2015, and capitalised on lessons learned to develop quality interventions for 2016. Furthermore, the trend for 2016 will be to put greater emphasis on interventions strengthening resilience, and even longer term development, in the wake of partnerships established with civil society in 2015 to reinforce existing initiatives in the country. As such, ACTED in DRC will continue to strengthen its involvement in strategic consortia.
In Shabunda territory, the households’ extreme vulnerability is partly due to armed groups’ exactions leading local populations to flee their home. In this context, women and children are particularly affected, and they often eat only one meal per day. In 2015, ACTED developed a multi-sectorial mobile emergency response, providing immediate food assistance and essential non-food items, and targeting women heads of households as a matter of priority, in order to restore livelihoods for these vulnerable households.
Partners in 2015:
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM), Department for International Development (DFID) – United Kingdom, Direction du Développement et de la Coopération (DDC) – République Démocratique du Congo, European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), National Research Council Canada (NRC), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), USAID Food For Peace (FFP), World Food Programme (WFP)