Economic Growth

USAID invests in key aspects of the Congolese economy—agriculture, minerals, and energy—to promote broad-based economic growth to reduce poverty and enhance food security. The DRC is also a Feed the Future aligned country. USAID’s agriculture assistance focuses on livelihoods development to improve household income so communities are more stable, resilient, and better able to participate in the market.

USAID-funded Commercially Viable, Conflict-free Gold Project

Dec 17, 2018 - Dec 16, 2023; $11,999,691

Seeks to scale-up exports and sales of conflict-free, artisanal gold from eastern DRC by developing market linkages with responsible gold buyers, particularly in North America and Europe. Through these partnerships, the project will deliver a transparent, private-sector co-financed supply chain model for clean artisanal gold which is led by market actors, but will also benefit economically disadvantaged artisanal or small-scale mining communities. Activities will address and remove existing downstream blockages within the artisanal gold supply chain through engagements to support artisanal or small-scale cooperatives, responsible gold wholesale buyers, retailers, insurers, transportation companies and banks. 

USAID Sustainable Mine Site Validation Project

Dec 24, 2018 - Dec 23, 2022; $3,700,229

Uses an innovation approach to refit and strengthen current methods for mine site Qualification and Validation (Q&V) to better address the long-term viability of clean gold and tin, tantalum and tungsten (3T) exports sourced from the DRC. Although functional, the current system for Q&V in DRC is overbuilt, expensive, and requires an unnecessarily complex group of stakeholders led by donors. The new Q&V approach will promote rigorous and transparent traceability of minerals which provides ongoing security analysis and monitoring of mine sites, increases the capacity of Ministry of Mines personnel, and strengthens artisanal or small-scale mining cooperatives to reduce issues like child labor. The project will also reduce the overall dependence on donors to manage the Q&V system, enabling new conflict free 3T and gold mine sites to be verified quickly, at less cost, and in better alignment with local needs. 

Feed the Future Strengthening Value Chains Activity

Tetra Tech
May 23, 2017 - May 22, 2022; $22,993,029

Complements USAID investments in governance, agriculture, health, and education, to strengthen the foundation for durable peace in eastern DRC. It applies a nutrition sensitive value chain and market systems development approach that combines technical assistance and capacity building for value chain actors, credit facilitation, assistance with market linkages, public-private partnership development, social behavior change communication, and advocacy to support nutritional crop (dry bean and soybean) and specialty coffee value chain development in South Kivu. Targets three territories in South Kivu - Walungu, Kabare and Kalehe.

Cassava Brown Streak Disease

International Institute for Tropical Agriculture
Jan 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2020; $4,644,467

Responds to an urgent need of resource-poor farmers and consumers in the cassava sub sector of the DRC to counter the Cassava Brown Streak disease threat. It enhances sustainable productivity and competitiveness of cassava through improved cassava production, food system and commercialization, thereby contributing to food security, wealth creation, and livelihoods improvement. It is expected to develop and promote dissemination of appropriate cassava varieties and disease control technologies that will enhance production, diversification, marketing and utilization of cassava. Through this activity, USAID also builds the capacity of INERA, the national agriculture research institute of DRC, for dealing with similar issues in the future.

ASILI 2.0 - Scaling for Sustainability in the Kivus

American Refugee Committee
March 30, 2018 - March 23, 2023; $7,000,000

Establishes a sustainable social enterprise approach through private sector co-funding to create healthier, more resilient, economically empowered communities in South Kivu, Eastern DRC. This social enterprise approach delivers an integrated business model that improves economic, health, and WASH outcomes including improved access to clean water, income generating activities (i.e agriculture), and health care services for populations living in poverty. The activity will provide access to basic sanitation services to 7,500 people while enabling 75,000 beneficiaries to access safe drinking water.

Household Grants for Youth

Apr 5, 2018 - Apr 4, 2021; $3,004,075

Provides household grants to approximately 6,000 Congolese youth directly transforming the lives of grantees in eastern DRC, thereby increasing their resilience to conflict and violence. The study will evaluate the impacts of giving household grants and provide a benchmark of USAID/DRC’s current/upcoming youth portfolio. 

Virunga Electricity Distribution Grid

Virunga Foundation
July 21, 2019 - July 22, 2021; $1,625,587

This project aims to provide reliable, affordable energy to Goma, one of the largest cities in Eastern DRC. By extending the electricity grid from an existing hydropower plant, 4,000 households will receive their first ever electricity connections. It will immediately improve living standards and economic opportunities for these households, and create new jobs by further stimulating economic development. Specifically, small and medium enterprises will receive business training and access to credit; and the construction of an industrial zone will offer local businesses access to reliable, affordable electricity that will contribute to regional economic growth.

Loan Portfolio Guarantee Agreement between USAID, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

FINCA and Equity Bank
September 29, 2016 - September 30, 2021; $8,936,870

Supports lending to Congolese individuals, associations, groups, micro-and small-enterprises, village savings and loans associations and non-governmental organizations that have their primary business activities located in North Kivu or South Kivu provinces. The intent is to facilitate economic growth and strengthen the foundation for durable peace in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Last updated: September 30, 2019

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