DRC – Sustainable progress after 6 years of working with returned refugees

Background

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is rich in mineral and agricultural resources.  However, sadly it remains among the poorest and most food insecure countries in the world due in large part to the ongoing effects of years of civil war.  Two statistics starkly point this out: first, the DRC has one of the world’s worst child mortality rates with over 500,000 children dying each year and second, 80% of the population live below the absolute poverty line (less than $1 a day).

In these difficult conditions, Food for the Hungry (FH) has been serving in the eastern DRC to support the communities and families who are trying to rebuild their lives from the impact of war. In recent years, thousands of former refugees from neighbouring countries have returned to their communities in the hope of rebuilding their lives after suffering displacement, loss of homes, small businesses, farms and livestock, and sadly all too often the pillaging and sexual violence that accompany conflict.

 

Mother-leader demonstrating improved hygiene practices

FH’s programme

With the support of churches and individuals, other partners and the US State Department, FH began responding to health, nutrition and water needs in Fube and its surrounding communities.  As many organizations were shutting down their operations in Fube (eastern DRC), FH with the encouragement of the United Nations and other partners was able to continue serving the families and communities in this region.

FH has partnered with local Congolese leaders, churches and families to assist more than 129,000 individuals in Katanga Province through improved access to food, livelihoods, road and market rehabilitation, health and water-related activities.  In fact the US State Department recognized FH as one of their strongest partners in the region, which we accept with gratitude to God as evidence of the great people we have serving in the region.

Here’s a summary of their achievements:

  • 9,000 households supplied with seeds, tools and training in improved agricultural practices

    New water well

  • 475km of roads rehabilitated, with 12 bridges and 39 culverts constructed
  • 2 markets rehabilitated
  • 3,900 individuals benefited from Cash-for-Work activities for construction/rehabilitation activities
  • 179 income generation groups formed
  • Health supplies provided to 4 health centers
  • 38 potable water points constructed or rehabilitated
  • Critical assistance to Fube community, through:
    • Establishment of 30 Cascade Groups, with provision of seeds, tools and training
    • 1,800+ households reached with essential health and hygiene messages
    • 5 wells and 8 rainwater catchment systems constructed
    • 10 Village Savings and Loan Associations formed and provided with savings and credit kits

      Base of rain harvesting system

    • New Hope Project Community Development Committee helped with strengthening their community development plan

 

 

 

 

 

Updates on FH’s work in the DRC can be found on our website: http://fh.org/work/countries/democratic-republic-of-congo

See also our blog on the Burundi project:

http://blog.fh.org/2012/10/burundi-celebrating-success-four-years-work-returning-refugees/

About Martin

Emergency Response Unit, FH. Based in Buckinghamshire, UK and formerly a mechanical engineer with BP. Attends parish church of St. James, Gerrard's Cross.

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