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Where is the Democratic Republic of Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country in Central Africa. 

Our impact


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently experiencing one of the most complex and long-standing humanitarian crises in its history. Despite its vast human and natural resources, the country has suffered from decades of political instability, disease outbreaks and natural disasters which have led to widespread poverty. In addition, long-term conflict has forced millions of people from their homes in the east of the country.

Around 8 million people don’t have access to clean water or adequate sanitation facilities, and over 27 million people don’t have access to enough food. 77 per cent of the population lives on less than $2 a day and sexual and gender-based violence is widespread.  

Love Kansime harvests maize at an agriculture project run by Tearfund’s local partner in eastern DRC. Credit: Arlette Bashizi/Tearfund

Our work in the DRC

Tearfund has been working in the DRC through local partner organisations since 1986, and our own operational team has been working there since 2002. We are focusing on; peacebuilding initiatives, providing humanitarian aid, supporting community development, and preventing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Emergency response work

We respond to humanitarian disasters to meet emergency needs with practical support and supplies. We also carry out disaster risk reduction activities with communities and partner organisations to strengthen their capacity to cope with future disasters, and reduce their long-term vulnerabilities.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects

Despite being a water-rich country, nearly 8 million people in the DRC don't have access to clean water and adequate sanitation. We help communities gain sustainable access to safe water supplies and safe and appropriate sanitation, and to realise the benefits of good hygiene practices. This work is helping to reduce waterborne diseases in the poorest communities.

Tearfund meets emergency water and sanitation needs and also works with local communities to ensure that water systems are sustainable and well-managed in the long-term.

Tearfund has extensive experience as a WASH responder to epidemics and pandemics, including during the recent Ebola epidemic and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This includes community messaging about transmission and prevention, as well as equipping health facilities to respond effectively.

Encouraging sustainable farming

We provide seeds, tools and training in sustainable farming methods to help individuals and communities grow more crops and have access to enough nutritious food all year round. In this way, we are providing a sustainable response to food insecurity in the DRC, without creating dependency on outside aid.

Addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)

In a country where 57 per cent of women suffer physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, we use our Transforming Masculinities approach to prevent and address sexual and gender-based violence in communities.

We work towards reducing stigma for survivors, equipping communities to support survivors, promoting gender equality, and providing positive models of masculinity. This approach has been found to reduce intimate partner violence by up to 50 per cent.

Transforming plastic waste

In the capital city, Kinshasa, plastic waste lines the streets and waterways. We are working to turn this plastic waste into marketable goods including paving stones, bricks, brooms and bags. Through this project, we are currently removing 11 tonnes of plastic waste from the streets of Kinshasa every month.

Tearfund’s local partners at work creating paving stones out of plastic waste. Credit: Flot Mundala/Tearfund

Partnerships and funding

Tearfund’s work in the DRC is funded by our supporters, as well as through institutional funding. Some of our institutional donors include:

USAID – funding WASH, food security, peacebuilding and SGBV-prevention projects.

The UK Government (Foreign Commonwealth Development Office) – funding SGBV-prevention work, WASH and community engagement projects.

The Dutch Government – funding WASH, food security and SGBV-prevention projects.

Start Fund – funding WASH and emergency-resilience projects.

UN Country Based Pooled Fund – funding WASH projects.

UN Peacebuilding Fund - funding a peacebuilding project.

UNICEF – funding WASH and SGBV-prevention projects.

Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) – funding WASH and emergency-resilience projects.

Contact us

If you have a query for our DRC team, please contact [email protected] and we will pass on your message.

Esther uses a handwashing station in Kigonze Camp for displaced people in eastern DRC. Credit: Arlette Bashizi/Tearfund

Looking for other information about the Democratic Republic of Congo?

If you need practical tools and guides for working in the DRC, or would like to view research or case studies to understand our work there more deeply, take a look at our partner site, Tearfund Learn.

Explore resources on Tearfund Learn

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