DfID-Democratic Republic of Congo Partnership

Anastasie Nakahosa and Pauline Velo, community volunteers who were trained in healthy nutrition techniques by Action Against Hunger in the rural town of Masi Manimba, DRC, with the help of U.K. aid. Photo by: Russell Watkins / Department for International Development / CC BY-NC-SA

The Democratic Republic of Congo ranks lowest in the 2011 Human Development Index. An estimated 60 percent of the 68 million Congolese live on less than $1.25 per day and only 61 percent of children aged six to 11 regularly attend primary school. Basic social services remain scarce: 70 percent of the population in rural areas does not have access to drinking water and almost 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished.

Public sector corruption and political and security tensions continue to hamper DRC’s export-driven and mineral-rich economy. The DRC has suffered from a protracted violent conflict that has spilled over the country’s borders, sparking tension with neighboring states Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. The country currently hosts the world’s second-largest U.N.-funded peacekeeping mission. Sexual and gender-based violence is prevalent, making DRC one of the world’s most dangerous places for women.

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