A complex emergency has persisted in DRC for more than 20 years. Conflict between foreign, self-defence, and other armed groups, mainly impacting the eastern provinces, has left the country in a state of prolonged, severe humanitarian crisis. Although the security situation has improved slightly since 2013 when the government defeated M23 in Nord-Kivu, conflict continues. Access remains volatile in the east, and lack of infrastructure is a general problem across the country. Clashes between armed groups and the DRC armed forces are affecting populations mainly in Sud- and Nord-Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika, and Haut-Katanga provinces. Health is a priority due to recurrent measles, cholera, and malaria outbreaks, and protection concerns are high because of serious human rights violations in the eastern provinces.

In 2016, the ruling coalition has sought to prolong President Joseph Kabila’s time in office beyond December 2016, when his constitutional two-term limit was due to end. A new agreement was reached on 31 December 2016 stating that President Kabila would step down after the next election. Voting is to take place before the end of the year. In 2016, election-related violence increased. Protests related to the forthcoming presidential elections have taken place in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Bukavu, and Goma. Election-related human rights violations, including summary executions, death threats, arbitrary detention, and restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly have been reported since 2015.

INFORM measures DRC's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 7/10. Lack of coping capacity is of particular concern, at 8/10 as well as vulnerability at 7/10.?

Latest Developments

15/01: Around 200 M23 elements crossed the border from Uganda to Nord-Kivu, occupying the locality of Ishasha.?

12/01: Around 15,000 people displaced in Mpiana, Tanganyiaka, fleeing violence between Bantu and Batwa communities, from 3-4 January. From 23-24 December 2016, 7,000 had already fled clashes in Kayumba.?

11/01: 216,000 people displaced since August in Kasai, Kasai-Central and Kasai-Oriental due to fighting between Kamuina Nsapu militiamen and FARDC.?

11/01: Some 165,000 people displaced since October 2016, in Tanganyiaka, due to ethnic violence between Bantu and Batwa.?


Tension and violence are increasing in Katanga area because of the delay in the elections. There are concerns that a crisis, similar to the war of late 1990s, which followed the overthrowing of Mobutu, could take place. ?

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Crisis Overview 2016 - DRC

The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016

DRC is one of the 15 crises analysed in this report.

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Read the full report here

Key priorities

Food security, particularly in Punia (Maniema), Nyunzu and Manono (Tanganyika), Irumu (Ituri), Beni and Walikale (Nord-Kivu), Shabunda (Sud-Kivu), Bafwasende (Tshopo), and Mambasa (Ituri).

WASH along the Congo River, where most cholera cases have been reported.

Protection, especially in the conflict-affected areas between Rutshuru, Walikale, and Lubero territories, Nord-Kivu.

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Information Gaps and needs

  • Very limited information available on nutrition.
  • The majority of information about emergency educational needs comes from the local media.
  • Only two thirds of the country was measured for the latest food security assessment, therefore, the real needs may be higher.

Lessons learned

  • The Cluster approach has proven very successful in DRC. Cluster meetings strengthened the links between humanitarian organisations present in Kinshasa and eastern provinces. Cluster approach is particularly successful in the eastern provinces for addressing displacement issues.??
  • Physical security (including child protection and prevention of gender-based violence) is not guaranteed in IDP camps and the displaced express fear of going to camps. The level of insecurity, criminality, prostitution, hostilities, and exploitation appears to be high. Camps are not located within MONUSCO protected areas, and armed groups have repeatedly attacked camps in the past and continue to do so.?
  • IDPs disrupt host communities' micro-economic equilibrium. IDPs are forced to remunerate their hosts by sharing the aid they receive and are victims of intimidation. ?
  • Despite the existence of programmes working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, women’s needs are underserved in the east of the country. When displacement occurs, organisations are rarely equipped to respond to needs within the critical timeframes necessary to prevent further harm.?
Key documents

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Assessment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo


The Landscape of Armed Groups in the Eastern Congo


Demographic and Health Survey 2013-14


Livelihoods, Basic Services and Social Protection in Democratic Republic of the Congo