Democratic Republic of the Congo

USAID is responding to an Ebola outbreak in DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, working with partners to boost infection prevention and control, upgrade water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure at health facilities, raise awareness about Ebola in communities, and provide other life-saving assistance.
USAID is responding to an Ebola outbreak in DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, working with partners to boost infection prevention and control, upgrade water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure at health facilities, raise awareness about Ebola in communities, and provide other life-saving assistance.
Kellie Ryan/International Rescue Committee

Key Developments

Attacks against civilians, clashes between armed actors, and protracted population displacement continue to disrupt livelihoods and result in acute food insecurity across much of central and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Despite obstacles, U.S. Government partners and other relief organizations are delivering life-saving emergency assistance to conflict-affected populations, while supporting internally displaced persons to return voluntarily to areas of origin when security conditions permit.

The Government of the DRC declared an Ebola outbreak on August 1, 2018, and as of July 28, 2019, health officials have reported 2,659 confirmed and probable cases, including at least 1,782 related deaths, in eastern DRC’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces. This Ebola outbreak is now the second largest recorded outbreak of the disease, eclipsed only by the 2014 West Africa epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people.

In late September 2018, the U.S. Government deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team—comprising disaster and health experts from USAID and health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to augment ongoing Ebola response efforts. This team works closely with the Government of the DRC, the UN World Health Organization, international partners, and other aid groups to stop the outbreak and provide assistance to people affected.

Since the start of the Ebola outbreak, USAID has provided nearly $128 million in preparedness and response funding in the DRC and more than $8.6 million in preparedness funding to neighboring countries. USAID funding provides life-saving assistance—including infection prevention and control activities, training for health care workers, community engagement interventions, promotion of safe and dignified burials, and food assistance—to Ebola-affected communities in the DRC.

Background

Despite the implementation of a peace agreement in 2003, ongoing fighting between forces loyal to the Government of the DRC and various armed entities—including the Allied Democratic Forces, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and Mai-Mai militants—has contributed to high levels of insecurity and population displacement in eastern DRC. In addition, intensified fighting between the Armed Forces of DRC and local militia in central DRC’s Kasaï region since August 2016 has generated new humanitarian needs in the country. Humanitarian access constraints, poor infrastructure, forced recruitment into armed groups, reduced access to agricultural land and traditional markets, and violence have contributed to the deterioration of humanitarian conditions in DRC and mass internal displacement and refugee outflows since 2016.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: August 19, 2019

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