DR Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo Key Message Update: The Nyiragongo eruption affects households who rely on the informal sector in Goma, June 2021

Situation Report
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Key Messages

The continuing violence in the eastern provinces continues to cause new population movements in the midst of the agricultural season B; Marshall law has been declared in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri and tensions remain in South Kivu and to a lesser extent in Tanganyika. In addition, there is a possible resurgence of tensions in Kasai which caused the displacement of 41,000 people at the end of March in the city of Bakwakenge.

Average rainfall at the start of the agricultural season in the east of the country enabled the effective start of agricultural season B with the sowing of the main staple crops. We are witnessing in May the maintenance of the main staple crops, in particular maize, peanuts and beans while in the south-eastern unimodal zone the yearly harvest is ongoing, which will continue to be below normal, due to the conflicts.

As of May 26, 2021, the DRC has a cumulative total of 31,172 COVID-19 cases and 780 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to WHO data. The progression that indicated a decrease in the number of new cases now appears to be leveling off. The vaccination campaign is progressing slowly, in particular due to the lack of participation of the population. Some measures to contain the epidemic are gradually being lifted, such as the nighttime curfew in provinces where the virus does not circulate much, but a negative PCR test is still required when crossing land borders, which disrupts the livelihoods of households engaging in cross border petty trade, especially with Uganda.

During the projection period, which includes the lean season in the northeast and center-east of the country, the areas most affected by the conflict or the floods will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly Ituri, South Kivu, North Kivu, Tanganyika and southern Kasai, despite the harvest of season B in June. The provinces of Lomami, Sankuru, Kasaï Oriental, ex-Katanga which are post-conflict zones will remain in stress (IPC Phase 2) while Haut-Uele, Bas-Uélé, Tshopo, relatively calm, will be in a situation minimum (IPC Phase 1).

Following the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on May 22, Congolese authorities ordered the evacuation of 10 of Goma's 18 neighborhoods. As of June 6, IOM counted more than 400,000 displaced people internally as well as to Rwanda, including 160,000 people who have already returned. Certain businesses and services such as banks are closed and certain markets partially or totally interrupted, which particularly affects the informal sector on which many very poor and poor households depend. Humanitarian actors have provided assistance areas of displacement, but this remains largely insufficient in view of the needs in WASH, shelter and food security in particular. The government recently announced that returns would be organized gradually during the month of June and the various services are expected to reopen in the coming days.