What we do
Find out how UNICEF drives change for children and young people every day across the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite vast natural resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest countries in the world. Factors including extreme poverty, economic crisis, conflict , food insecurity, epidemic outbreaks negatively impact the social situation and well-being of Congolese people, especially women and children.
The county has the third largest population in Africa with an estimated 98 million inhabitants, 54 per cent of whom are children under 18. Although DRC has made significant progress in reducing child mortality and access to education for children, a majority of children remain deprived of many of their rights:
- 7 in 100 children die before reaching the age of 5
- more than 7 million children aged 5 to 17 are out of school
- 33 million people living in rural areas do not have access to safe drinking water
- 59.9 per cent of children under 5 do not have their birth registered
- 9 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition or stunting
Beyond the challenges of long-term development, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated in recent years. Nearly 26.4 million people are currently in need of urgent humanitarian assistance across the country, including 15.4 million children.