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MICS 2010 : Joint Press release: progress and perspectives for children in DRC

© Photo Unicef/RDCongo

Presentation of the preliminary results of the Multiple Indicator Cluster 2010

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, 18 September 2010, The results of a survey on the situation of children and women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MICS 2010) has been presented this week by Mr. Olivier Kamitatu, Minister of Planning. Data contained in this report show that progress is being made, while much remains to be done.

The survey, commissioned by the Ministry of Planning was conducted by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) with technical and financial support of the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and the contribution of the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and USAID. MICS 2010, the third of its kind conducted in the DRC after 1995 and 2001, was designed on the basis of samplings in urban and rural areas, the city-province of Kinshasa and the ten other provinces.

"This survey provides updated information, shedding light on the evolution of the situation of children and women in DRC. It will help to plan interventions that are crucial to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG);" remarked Mr Olivier Kamitatu, Minister of Planning.

Key findings of MICS 2010 include progress made in terms of education and child survival, degradation in the domain of birth registration and stagnation in the area of access to safe water drinking and sanitation.

Today, three out of four children go to school in DRC. This represents an increase of 23 percent compared with 2000, with near-parity for girls and boys. However, there is a marked difference depending on economic welfare. Out of four women from affluent households, there is only one woman from a poor household who is literate.

158 out of 1,000 children die before their fifth birthday. Although still too high, this number represents a positive trend compared to 2001, when 213 children did not reach the age of five years. The reduction in episodes of fever caused by Malaria, achieved through the use of impregnated bed nets by today 38 percent of the population and a further extension of routine immunization are among the key factors of this success. On the other hand, almost half of all children below five years of age are stunted. The latest United Nation report on global child mortality shows that worldwide mortality rates among  children below five years are the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, where one in eight children dies before its fifth birthday. In DRC one in seven children dies before the age of five. "This study shows that we have made progress over the last decade, and that we must continue our efforts with vigor;" underlines Mrs. Pierrette Vu Thi, UNICEF Representative in the DRC.

In 2010 only one in seven people lives in acceptable hygienic conditions and barely half of the population has access to drinking water. This situation has hardly changed over the past ten years. In 2001, nine percent had access to sanitation and 46 percent to drinking water. Today these figures are respectively 14 and 47 percent. Two out of three children do not have a birth certificate. This situation has worsened over the past ten years. Indeed, while 34 percent of children were registered in 2001, this figure dropped to 28 percent in 2010.

To achieve the Millennium Development Goals in DRC much remains to be done. A comprehensive study of UNICEF published this month in New York shows that the international community can save millions of lives by investing primarily in the most disadvantaged children and communities; an approach that would address the widening disparities that accompany progress in achieving the MDG. The major purpose of MICS 2010 is to provide data that will contribute to an efficient planning of social development in DRC.

For more information, please contact:

Nsa Isongo, President of the Piloting Comity, Ministry of Planning RDC, +243 (0) 81 19 00 562
Ronald van Dijk, Chief of Planning, UNICEF DRC/Kinshasa, +243 (0) 81 245 4135



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