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Committed to an emergency response and economic recovery activities in stabilised provinces - After years of conflict, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the least developed countries in the world, with some of the lowest rates in life expectancy, health and education indicators. In Eastern DRC, wars and fighting between FARDC forces and different armed groups have led to the destruction of most market, social or sanitary infrastructures, leaving populations with limited means of resilience. In other parts of the country, populations are suffering from chronic poverty, with limited access to quality health services, potable water or education.
Improving access to potable water and sanitation facilities
Since the beginning of ACTED’s operations in DRC in 2003, ACTED has implemented numerous health projects, notably including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities, contributing to the reduction of waterborne diseases and the improvement of living conditions and hygiene practices among the most vulnerable populations. In 2011, ACTED capitalized on its in-country experience in areas most affected by mass displacements, to respond to the most urgent needs of displaced and returnee populations in Equateur, Katanga, South Kivu and Province Orientale. Between January and December 2011, ACTED rehabilitated and set up 71 wells and built 2,000 latrines. ACTED staff also raised awareness of over 65,000 people to best health practices, with a specific focus on waterborne diseases, hygiene and sanitation, as well as to HIV/AIDS (DRC has one of the highest rates of prevalence worldwide at 4.2%).
Promoting food security and economic development for the most vulnerable populations
Today, over 4.5 million people are food insecure in DRC. Displaced, host and returnee populations are facing considerable difficulties in meeting their food needs, with limited seed stocks or agricultural inputs available to farm their land. Considering this situation, ACTED has implemented several programs aimed at improving food security of displaced, host and returnee populations in the Shabunda and Fizi territories (South Kivu), in Kalemie territory (North Katanga) and in Equateur. These projects aim at supporting people’s capacity to provide for their own food needs. 15,000 people have benefitted from tool and seed distributions, as well as trainings on best agricultural practices. ACTED has also supported breeders and fishermen in resuming their livelihoods through the delivery of cattle and fishing equipments. In addition, ACTED supported the local market chain and opened new opportunities for local farmers by rebuilding the market of Mbandaka and rehabilitating several roads in South Kivu and Katanga to facilitate the transportation of goods and humanitarian aid.
Towards an integrated approach between emergency, early recovery and development
Faced with a continuous worrying humanitarian situation in DRC, ACTED will pursue its commitment towards the reconstruction process in 2012. ACTED will first strengthen its needs assessment capacities, with mapping and information management systems. ACTED will thus be tooled with the relevant means to monitor movements of populations, to identify gaps in target areas, and to improve data collection system, notably on health, nutrition and food security. ACTED will thus keep on building up an integrated approach, combining WASH interventions, food security programs, and basic infrastructure rehabilitation (schools, health centres, roads, etc.) to address the most urgent needs of vulnerable populations. In non conflict-affected areas, ACTED will strive to strengthen stabilization and reconstruction processes by developing market chains in Eastern DRC and supporting local initiatives through the promotion of micro-projects.
Partners in 2011
Coopération espagnole (AECID), Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM), Service d’Aide Humanitaire et de la Protection la Protection Civile de la Commission Européenne (ECHO), EuropeAid, Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM), Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement (PNUD).