ACTED has been present in the Republic of Congo since 1997 with a sustained humanitarian commitment for over 20 years throughout the country, first in response to the needs of the population affected by conflicts and episodes of violence. Today, ACTED teams are mobilized in Brazzaville, as well as in Loudima, Nkayi and Madingou with projects aimed at reducing food insecurity and strengthening the livelihoods of rural populations.
While the country is often considered more stable than its neighbours, the Republic of the Congo faces latent political tensions, natural disasters and structural inequalities, the consequences of which affect the population. In particular, the country was shaken by the return of insecurity and violence in the Pool Department in April 2016; affecting more than 166,000 people. The country is also suffering from an unprecedented economic crisis, with public debt peaking at 110% of GDP in 2017. In addition to political and security issues, the Republic of Congo is facing a humanitarian crisis following major floods that affected more than 170,000 people in the departments of Likouala, Cuvette, Sangha and Plateaux in October-November 2019. While crises are localized, emergency response and support for development initiatives are needed throughout the country to meet the multiple needs of the population.
Open since 1997, the mission in the Republic of Congo is ACTED’s first on the African continent. ACTED intervenes in development activities in post-crisis contexts, while seeking to remain flexible in order to provide an emergency response when necessary. Through interventions promoting agricultural revival, access to water, hygiene and sanitation or access to perennial shelters, but also through projects supporting civil society or economic development, ACTED’s action in the Republic of Congo is characterized by a dynamic linking emergency, support to rehabilitation efforts and development dynamics. To respond to the emergency, ensure the early recovery of populations, contribute to economic development, fight against violence, notably gender-based, and protect the environment and biodiversity in 6 departments (Pool, Bouenza, Likouala, Brazzaville, Plateaux, Cuvette), ACTED Congo relies on the coordination work of its 2 operational bases.
ACTED’s main sectors of intervention to date are the improvement of access to water, hygiene and sanitation, access to housing and support to agricultural recovery. ACTED builds emergency and sustainable latrines, waste pits, showers and water points. To ensure the sustainability of these infrastructures, management committees are created, trained and equipped to ensure their maintenance. In addition to these construction activities, the teams distribute hygiene kits and conduct awareness-raising activities aimed at passing on the right gestures in terms of water management, prevention of waterborne diseases and hygiene.
In order to provide communities with the means to ensure their resilience and meet the needs of their households, ACTED trains its beneficiaries in sustainable and environmentally adapted techniques for market gardening, food crop and livestock activities. In addition to these trainings, distributions of seeds, improved cuttings and livestock heads accompany the seeding support and the monitoring of crop evolution. These agricultural revival and crop diversification activities (including maize, cassava, tomato, cabbage, onion, sorrel and pepper) help to revitalize the local socio-economic fabric, strengthen inter-community cooperation and thus ensure the sustainability of peacekeeping.
Since February 2019, the ACTED mission in the Republic of Congo has been implementing a project to support the reinforcement of food and nutritional security of the populations through the revival of agropastoral and fishing activities in the Pool Department. This intervention aims at increasing food availability for the populations but also the incomes of 200 market gardeners, 15 cassava producers’ groups and 200 breeders. This project is part of ACTED’s 3 Zero strategy:
Emergency assistance in water, hygiene, sanitation and protection for vulnerable populations affected by the floods
Shelter response for crisis-affected populations in the Yumbi health zone
Improving the early recovery through agricultural and food security, shelter and WASH to highly vulnerable populations, especially returnees (Pool department)