Action Against Hunger has been present in Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996

Democratic Republic of Congo

More than 13.1 million people, including 7.7 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection

Country Overview

The humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo worsened and spread in 2017, particularly to the Kasai region. More than 13.1 million people, including 7.7 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. 7.7 million people are suffering from serious food insecurity, with more than 2 million cases of severe acute malnutrition reported. With 4.1 million internally displaced persons in 2017, the Democratic Republic of Congo is now the African country most affected by population movements. In addition to this is the 526,000 refugees who have sought refuge on Congolese territory.

The main factors in the crisis are: an escalation in violence, extreme poverty, lack of access to healthcare, poor provision of water, sanitation and hygiene, and an economic crisis. Humanitarian access is restricted due to high security risk, the lack of infrastructure and insufficient funding.


378, 898
People helped in 2017

What we are doing

Since our programme opened in 1997 we have been working in close collaboration with the country’s Ministry of Health to strengthen health systems and bolster their capacity to address acute malnutrition and prevent the long-term impact of the condition on communities.

We responded to ten nutritional crises in 2017, with emergency actions in different provinces of the DRC. Our activities in North and South Kivu helped combat the cholera epidemic. In North Kivu, we assisted displaced populations with emergency distributions, improved hygiene and sanitation, and provided support for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. In Kasai, we mobilised all our expertise to respond to a sudden multisectoral crisis. We distributed food and essential household items, and implemented nutrition, primary health and mental health actions and care practices.

Programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo include: 

  • Improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities
  • Screening and treating children suffering from malnutrition
  • Distributing emergency hygeine kits 
  • Distributing emergency food supplies 
  • Psychosocial support groups 
  • Training health care workers 



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Photo Credits: © Guy Calaf for Action Against Hunger 

Related reading


Number of staff
Operating since
Based in
Kinshasa, Kasai, Kasai Central, North Kivu, South Kivu, Tshopo, Kwango, Kwili, Huat Lomani