• Crisis Severity ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.4
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 102,743,000 Total population [?]
  • 25,500,000 People affected [?]
  • 10,098,000 People displaced [?]
  • 16,000,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports

19/10/2020

Overview

16/11/2021

A complex emergency has persisted in DRC for more than 20 years. Population displacement is frequent and repeated, and mostly driven by armed clashes and intercommunal violence between foreign, self-defence, and other armed groups. More than five million people are internally displaced. The situation in the eastern provinces remains particularly volatile: humanitarian needs are high, as displaced and local populations are faced with violence, food insecurity, floods, disease outbreaks, and the secondary effects of COVID-19 restrictions. Over 998,000 refugees from DRC live in African host countries as at 31 October. DRC hosted about 515,000 refugees (mainly from Rwanda, Central African Republic, Congo, and Angola) as at 30 September.??Since mid-December 2020, 92,000 refugees fleeing violence related to the 27 December elections in CAR have arrived in Bas-Uele, Nord-Ubangi, and Sud-Ubangi provinces. Most of the arrivals are located in villages close to the river border, where access is a challenge and where host communities were already struggling to meet their own needs. ?

Over 7,900 protection incidents were reported across DRC in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019 attributable to the deteriorating security situation in conflict-affected areas. 93% of recorded violations occurred in Nord-Kivu, Ituri, and Sud-Kivu. Reported extrajudicial killings by armed groups increased dramatically, from 1,029 in 2019 to 2,487 in 2020. ?

The food crisis in DRC is likely to worsen in the months to come. From January–June 2022, 25.9 million people are estimated in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or above, with 5.4 million people estimated in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). 19.6 million people were projected to need food assistance for the January–June 2021 period. This deterioration is explained by poor harvests, displacement caused by waves of violence, and crops’ diseases.? 

Latest Developments

01/06/2022

01/06/2022: Around 61,000 people fled their villages to other localities in Rutshuru and Nyirangongo territories (Nord Kivu) following clashes between FARDC and alleged M23 fighters over 19-28 ​​May. Most of the IDPs are in public buildings and other makeshift shelters while others are in IDP sites. Most urgent needs include water, food, shelter, healthcare and NFIs.?

Humanitarian Access

07/12/2021

Very high constraints

Access constraints remain very high after the intensification of the attacks of armed groups, particularly in the Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, and Tanganyika provinces. People living in affected areas have been forced to flee several times, reducing their access to services and humanitarian aid. Medical facilities and schools are frequently looted or destroyed, depriving thousands of people of access to healthcare and education. Shortages of medicine have also been reported in some health centres in the eastern regions of the country.

Humanitarian activities are often suspended as a result of insecurity. The authorities and armed groups impose conditions on the delivery of aid in areas under their control. In some areas, such as Nyunzu town in Tanganyika province, access to people in need remains limited because of insecurity, even though humanitarian actors have the capacity for a targeted response. Administrative procedures remain challenging for all humanitarian organisations, particularly because of delays in the registration process of NGOs and ad hoc taxes imposed by the authorities.

Attacks against humanitarian workers and their equipment are frequent. In the past six months, one humanitarian has been killed, three wounded, and seven others kidnapped, mainly in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu.

Recurrent natural disasters, floods, and the rising waters in Lake Tanganyika have destroyed dwellings, essential utilities, and over 5,000 hectares of cultivated land in Tanganyika province, limiting people’s access to services, aid, and source of livelihoods.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Risk

The resurgence of the 23 March Movement (M23) and intensification of conflict lead to displacement and further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Nord Kivu Latest update: 27/03/2022

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

RATIONALE

Since November 2021, more than a dozen attacks targeting the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in Nord Kivu province have been attributed to the military arm of M23.? The presence of M23 mainly in the territory of Rutshuru is a source of concern. Between 2012–2013, the group’s armed activity and clashes with the FARDC displaced around 800,000 people.?

The M23 was founded in 2012 around the defence of Tutsi communities in DRC and was defeated in 2013. The sudden resumption of its attacks seems inseparable from its insistence to enforce the terms of the Nairobi agreement set in May 2013, wherein in exchange for the M23 disengaging from fighting, the Congolese Government committed to disarming, demobilising, and socially reintegrating ex-combatants.? The M23 is still calling for the implementation of these commitments, particularly the repatriation of ex-combatants in Rwanda and Uganda.

The M23’s attacks on the FARDC will likely continue over the coming months as they seek to pressure the Government before the 2023 presidential elections. Despite its nine years of inactivity, except for a few incidents in 2017 and 2020, the M23 seems sufficiently armed to pose a threat to the FARDC, as indicated by its latest attacks in Rutshuru territory.? The ‘state of siege’ decided by the Government in May 2021 and the Government’s refusal to integrate ex-combatants into the army could intensify clashes. The resumption of M23 activities in an area where the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (Rwanda’s Hutu armed group in North Kivu) is already active also raises fears of clashes between the two armed groups, potentially leading to intercommunal violence.?

IMPACT

In Nord Kivu province, where dozens of armed groups are active, the increase of M23 attacks and FARDC operations would considerably worsen the humanitarian situation, especially in Rutshuru territory, where thousands of IDPs and returnees live.? Around 1.9 million IDPs are already reported in North Kivu.? The resumption of the M23’s attacks has already displaced an average of 5,000 people. The continuation of attacks could newly displace around 50,000 people over the next six months. If attacks escalate, this figure could double to around 100,000 additional IDPs. Most of the newly displaced people would find refuge in more secure localities in Rutshuru, adding pressure to the limited resources of host communities.

Others will likely cross the Ugandan border.? Although displacement can be temporary, its intermittency and the deterioration of the security context would increase shelter, water, sanitation, and healthcare needs.? If the M23 starts fighting with other armed groups along ethnic lines, conflict would trigger more violence and displacement. If the M23 reprised their practices as documented in 2012–2013, which included targeted killings, sexual violence, and the recruitment of child soldiers, an increase in protection incidents could be expected.? During the harvest period in Nord Kivu, intermittent attacks would probably drive many people away from their fields. Such a situation would affect livelihoods and food security in the province, where people already experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food insecurity.?

Read this risk

Key Priorities

13/01/2021

Health: Displacement often leads to the loss or deterioration of access to health services. Poor WASH infrastructure contributes to the spread and risk of outbreaks of communicable diseases such as measles, cholera, malaria, Ebola, and COVID-19.

Protection: Protection concerns remain high, particularly among IDPs, returnees, refugees, and host communities. Those who commit protection violations often go unpunished and victims have limited access to support structures. Reported GBV incidents increased by 86% between January–September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. This increase can likely be attributed to continued violence and displacement and COVID-19-related restrictions, as well as increased public awareness and operational capacity which have allowed for increased reporting of GBV cases.

Food security: Conflict and displacement are the main drivers of food insecurity. Seasonal floods, along with crop and animal diseases, further affect livelihoods. Poor road infrastructure limits access to markets. ?