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Poverty & Hunger

Democratic Republic of the

Congo (DRC)

In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Congo

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook – Democratic Republic of the Congo

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 23 December 2020]

World Factbook website moved --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

Poverty remains widespread in DRC, and the country failed to meet any Millennium Development Goals by 2015. DRC also concluded its program with the IMF in 2015. The price of copper – the DRC’s primary export - plummeted in 2015 and remained at record lows during 2016-17, reducing government revenues, expenditures, and foreign exchange reserves, while inflation reached nearly 50% in mid-2017 – its highest level since the early 2000s.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $800 (2017 est.)

GDP – composition by sector of origin

agriculture: 19.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 43.6% (2017 est.)

services: 36.7% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate: N/A

Population below poverty line: 63% (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 473 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 64.5 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 61 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 55.2% of population

Physicians density: 0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 40.7% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 17.1% (2016)

The Borgen Project – Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC

[accessed 25 January 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Indigenous People Of The Congolese Rainforest

~ 5 Facts About Child Poverty In The Drc

~ Sdg Goal 1 In The Democratic Republic Of The Congo

~ Improving Internet Access In The Drc

~ Ongoing Poverty In Democratic Republic Of The Congo

~ War Child Uk Helps Children In Conflict Zones

Hunger Hotspots - FAO-WFP early warnings on acute food insecurity - March to July 2021 outlook

Food and Agriculture Org of the UN FAO, World Food Program WFP, 2021

[accessed 30 May 2021]

COUNTRIES WITH CATASTROPHIC SITUATIONS: FAMINE-LIKE CONDITIONS OR FACTORS LEADING TO A RISK OF FAMINE -- In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, currently the country with the highest estimated number of food-insecure people worldwide, nearly 5 million are projected to be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity between January and June 2021. This reflects a combination of multiple shocks, including violence, natural hazards, epidemics, economic decline and the socio-economic impact of COVID 19.

Democratic Republic of Congo Faces Worst Hunger Crisis in the World: UN

Joe McCarthy, Global Citizen, 8 April 2021

[accessed 9 April 2021]

The hunger crisis is inseparable from the broader crisis of poverty. Prior to COVID-19, roughly 43% of children were malnourished. Malnourishment happens when children receive so little nutrition their bodies can no longer function properly. Long-term malnutrition can lead to lifelong development consequences.

FAO and WFP report that certain demographics are disproportionately affected by the hunger crisis, including those who have been displaced from their homes, women-led households, and children.

The UN reports that many families are surviving on leaves boiled in water, while many farmers have had their homes burned down and crops stolen. Many of the people most affected are too poor to buy food in markets:

The DR Congo Crisis: many tragedies combined

How tough is life in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

World Vision, 2 October 2020

[accessed 23 December 2020]

In Facts about Poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo, The Borgen Project noted the ways poverty affects the country’s people – especially those in rural areas. Here are some DRC facts from their site:

About 80 per cent of the country’s people live in extreme poverty.

Poverty is most intense in rural areas, and economic downturns have the greatest impact on rural families. About one-third of the country’s population has been displaced by conflict, leaving millions of people struggling to survive.

Years of conflict destroyed infrastructure for life necessities like clean water, sanitation and medical care.

Less than one-quarter of the country’s people has access to clean water.

The Eastern Congo Initiative notes that “the absence of schools, healthcare and reliable income-generating opportunities hinders communities’ ability to emerge from crisis.”

Action Against Hunger - Democratic Republic of the Congo

[accessed 21 March 2021]

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Africa’s second largest country, with great mineral and natural resources. For decades, DRC has suffered a multitude of crises: armed conflicts, political tensions, population displacements, epidemics, undernutrition, and food insecurity.

Extreme poverty, displacement, lack of functioning basic services, and poor infrastructure resulted in one of the world's most severe humanitarian crises, with 15.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019. Measles, Ebola, and cholera epidemics worsened the situation in vast areas of DRC.

The World Bank in Democratic Republic of Congo

[accessed 18 April 2021]

The World Bank is helping to fight poverty and improve living standards for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, through education, energy, health and other social services.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 23 December 2020]

Because the government only controlled the Western and Southwestern regions of the DROC in 2002, any estimates of the state of the economy applied only to those regions. The war caused an increase of government debt; reduced government revenue and economic output; increased corruption; caused a collapse of the banking system; and, because many industries and businesses could not operate, relegated much of the population to subsistence agriculture and barter.

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