In 2020, IOM, in collaboration with its partners and other humanitarian actors, seeks to provide the urgently needed multisectoral humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) while promoting durable solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs). IOM will provide multisectoral assistance, particularly in camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), WASH, shelter, NFIs, protection, gender-based violence (GBV) and health services to IDPs residing in sites and host community. IOM will also continue to support the government in responding to the Ebola outbreak and strengthen preparedness for future public health hazards. Considering the many requests for accurate displacement data in the DRC, IOM also aims at expanding the scope of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) interventions to progressively cover the entire country. Furthermore, IOM will continue to contribute to stabilization, transition and recovery efforts by supporting inclusive and participatory governance processes, promoting rule of law, encouraging economic recovery and strengthening social cohesion.
The DRC has been experiencing a complex, at times interlinked, set of challenges of both a national level and localised nature. Armed and intercommunal conflicts, natural disasters and health epidemics continue to affect the lives of millions of Congolese and have created one of the world’s most complex, acute, and long-standing humanitarian crises. The humanitarian community estimates that 15.6 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance in the DRC with 5.01 million people internally displaced (OCHA HNO, 2020). This situation requires a multi-faceted response that takes into account the challenges faced by affected populations.
For instance, since October 2019, over 160,000 people have been affected by flooding in the provinces of Haut-Uele, Bas-Uele and Tshopo (OCHA). In all affected areas, humanitarian needs include lack of access to basic services, essential household items, shelter and healthcare, among others. The protection of populations, particularly regarding their dignity, physical and psychological integrity is one of the major humanitarian issues. Moreover, while significant progress has been made in containing the Ebola epidemic in the DRC, the recent resurgence of violence in Beni directly threatens this collective achievement. The insecurity has led to the suspension of Ebola response operations in several high risks areas and represents a major obstacle to the delivery of needed humanitarian assistance to the population affected by the upsurge in armed conflict in the East. At the same time, the DRC has the world’s largest and fastest moving measles epidemic in the world today, with the disease spreading to all 26 provinces in the country and more than 6,000 deaths since June 2019 (WHO, January 2020).
In terms of stabilization and peace, conflicts are frequently a complex interplay between national and local level power dynamics, oftentimes over struggles for resources and political influence and the economic spoils that these bring. It is difficult to single out drivers for these conflicts, given the DRC’s complex socio-economic and political contexts which vary from the national to the local level, from community to community, and that become exacerbated by poverty and identity politics. In the case of the most salient violent conflicts, including those linked to armed groups, mobilization around land, natural resources and identity are most often evident.