February 2019 – From new violence in peaceful areas of the country, such as the Ituri province, to multiple Ebola outbreaks, and the forced return of hundreds of thousands of Congolese refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), 2018 has pushed the limits of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s humanitarian assistance. These challenges, coupled with cyclical violence and a lack of basic services, has exacerbated life-saving needs across the east and centre of the country. Millions of Congolese bear the brunt of this context, which is characterized by worsening inter-ethnic tensions and conflict, and where widespread human rights abuses and sexual violence are prevalent. In 2018, 1.26 million Congolese were newly displaced, and it is expected that 2019 will bring an additional 2.9 million returnees back to their areas of origin, creating significant needs in protection, livelihoods and food security. Approximately 12.8 million people are food insecure and 4.28 million children are suffering from malnutrition. With GAC’s support, the International Rescue Committee is providing assistance to help address the urgent needs of up to 125,249 conflict-affected people in territories of Beni and Lubero in the North Kivu province, DRC. This project focuses on improving access to emergency health services, and increasing the safety and protection of conflict-affected women, adolescent girls and girls. Project activities include: (1) procuring up to 6 health facilities and 6 mobile clinics with equipment, vaccines and essential drugs for the treatment of pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea; (2) establishing up to 12 referral systems for emergency cases requiring specialized care; (3) providing training to up to 24 health facility staff members on the use of available supplies, materials, and emergency obstetric care; and (4) distributing up to 3164 dignity kits to girls and women in targeted communities.
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) increased and improved access to emergency maternal and neonatal care, contraception services and STI services for women and girls affected by conflict and displacement; (2) increased access to clinical care for survivors of gender-based violence affected by conflict and displacement; and (3) increased access to primary health care services for children under five years of age affected by conflict and displacement. The expected ultimate outcome is live saved, suffering alleviated and human dignity maintained for populations in North Kivu, DRC experiencing humanitarian crises.