DR Congo

Climate risk profile: Democratic Republic of Congo - Fact Sheet

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OVERVIEW

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest country in Francophone Africa (spanning 2.3 million km2 ) and home to large swaths of arable land, vast quantities of natural resources and minerals, and critical habitats supporting rich biodiversity. Unfortunately, this abundance of resources has not translated into stability or wealth for the majority of people, as the country is currently characterized by significant social vulnerability, political instability, food insecurity and high poverty rates (64 percent). Climate variability and change are likely to exacerbate these concerns, particularly as the majority of agricultural production is rainfed (and provides livelihoods for the majority of the population), and climate-sensitive diseases like malaria are likely to expand into new areas. Increased temperatures and variable rainfall will also impact DRC’s forests (important for livelihoods and ecosystem services), which are already under threat from land use change and growing demand for charcoal and tropical forest products. More extreme weather events like intense rainfall after prolonged dry spells lead to erosion and flash flooding, damage roads and infrastructure, wipe out crops and put additional lives at risk. For example, heavy rains in January 2018 caused severe flooding, landslides and silting in nine communes of Kinshasa, affecting more than 15,700 people and claiming 51 lives. (12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24)