The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) regional Private Financing Advisory Network-Asia program will assist businesses, governments, and others in Asia’s developing countries to mobilize and scale up investments in clean energy. A previous USAID program had achieved broad success in mobilizing more than $275 million in new private investment for 21 clean energy projects across the region. The primary goals of the new five-year program, which will end in 2018, are to mobilize at least $1 billion in funds for clean energy investments and avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions amounting to at least 40 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project identifies the environmental, economic and social effects of climate change in the Lower Mekong Basin. The five-year, $9.4 million project helps vulnerable populations in rural areas adapt to climate change impacts on water resources, agricultural systems, biodiversity, ecosystems and livelihood options.
The Government of Nepal (GoN) authorizes relocation of some earthquake-affected populations. Relief agencies continue to distribute and pre-position relief supplies. Donors pledge $4.4 billion for Nepal's reconstruction.
Despite a wealth of natural resources and enormous agricultural potential, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faces serious food security challenges. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) estimates that national food production is currently 30 to 40 percent below national consumption. The country has very low agricultural productivity, high levels of animal and plant diseases, frequent flooding, isolated agricultural production areas, high population pressure and land conflicts limiting access to land. Abysmal infrastructure – roads, storage facilities, and markets – further exacerbate food insecurity.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is entering a critical period in its democratic transition, which began in 2006 with a new constitution. The 2011 elections were fraught with charges of fraud, and the upcoming elections face numerous political and logistical hurdles.
There are about 3.5 million out-of-school children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In fact, an estimated 20 percent of children in the DRC will never attend school, due to prohibitive fees, distance from a school, and other societal barriers.
The macroeconomic environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has markedly improved in recent years, yet the lives of most Congolese have not. In 2013, the DRC gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was $288, the lowest in the world and well less than half of its 1960 value. Approximately 80 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty with the majority engaged in subsistence agriculture. The DRC has the highest number of undernourished people in Africa and the highest prevalence of malnutrition in the world. Only 14 percent of Congolese households have access to electricity.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was once renowned in Africa for its network of clinics, quality of physicians, and primary health care system. In the past three decades, the political and economic collapse of the country has had a dramatic impact on this system. Hospitals and clinics lack personnel and equipment and often run out of critical medicine and supplies. An estimated 70 percent of Congolese have little or no access to health care. Strengthening the health care system is critical to improving the health of Congolese citizens.
Since the early 1990s, illegal exploitation of minerals from artisanal mining in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa has been used to finance armed groups and criminal elements within state security forces, exacerbating ongoing conflict. Recently, international and domestic advocacy efforts have encouraged positive reforms within the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, regional governments, and the local and global private sector. U.S.-listed companies sourcing tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold (known collectively as the “3T’s and gold”) from the region are now required to audit their supply chains and publicly report usage of conflict minerals. The governance, security, and implementation challenges necessary for these reforms must be adequately addressed for the minerals trade to contribute to the formal economy and inclusive development in the DRC.
Since 2002, the United States Government has been a major donor in the response to and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Deep-seated gender discrimination, harmful cultural practices, and the low social status of women and girls in the DRC contribute to high rates of SGBV. Continued population displacement, insecurity, and conflict in eastern DRC perpetuate the cycle of violence against women and girls, though most perpetrators are community members, not associated with armed groups or conflict.
Last updated: April 24, 2017