Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.70 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.40 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.4.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
CrisisInSight: Global Risk Report
Humanitarian Access Overview
DRC: Mount Nyiragongo eruption
DRC: Impact of COVID-19, conflict and policy reforms on education
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.?
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.?
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.
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.?
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.?
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. ?