DR Congo

UNICEF Democratic Republic of the Congo Annual Humanitarian Situation Report - Reporting Period: December 2021

Attachments

Highlights

  • In 2021, 6,989 human right violations and abuses and 3,553 grave violations of the rights of the child were documented through the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on grave violations against children.

  • The Mount Nyiragongo volcano eruption displaced 400,000 civilians and left 195,000 people without access to safe and clean water.

  • In 2021, the DRC was hit by six distinct epidemics, including Ebola, measles, meningitis, and cholera, to name a few. Placing further burden on an already frail public health system and eroding community resilience.

  • Tanganyika faced serious climate-induced disaster with torrential rains and rising waters of Lake Tanganyika that affected approximately 281,180 people, or more than 8% of the total population.

  • As of December 27th 2021, the DRC has reported 77,199 confirmed COVID-19 cases of and 1,225 deaths and only 0.25% of the population have been vaccinated.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF appeals for US$ 384 million to sustain the provision of humanitarian services for women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received to date. However, the 2021 HAC has a funding gap of 80%, with significant funding needs in nutrition, health, WASH, education, and communication for development.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Population displacements, acute food shortages, malnutrition, natural disasters, diseases, and warfare long plagued the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and made it one of the world's most difficult and long-running humanitarian crises.

Intercommunity violence and armed conflict

Attacks and violence have intensified in 2021 and have as well extended to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) settlements and against humanitarian personnel especially in Ituri and North Kivu where the state of siege was declared from 6 May 20211 . With the presence of 122 active armed groups, Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika were among the most affected provinces. Throughout the year, armed conflicts continued to drive large population movements exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and further worsened the humanitarian situation. Over 5.6 million civilians were Internally Displaced Persons, including 3.3 million children and 1.2 million women, 90% of them were reported in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. 2 From January through December, over 3 million people were forcibly displaced which represented a 170% increase compared to the same period last year.

As the number of IDP grew, so did the population's exposure and vulnerability to numerous threats. Forced to relocate, often repeatedly, left behind their homes and belongings 3, displaced children lived in extremely precarious conditions, exposed to violence, with very scarce access to basic services (drinking water, sanitation, primary health care, psychosocial support, education) hindered a safe and dignified life.

With the persistent armed conflicts, grave violations against children (killed and maimed, recruited as soldier, attacks against schools and hospitals) continued to be reported. In 2021, 6,989 human right violations, abuses and 3,553 grave violations of the rights of the child were documented through the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on grave violations against children. Over half (55%) of the violations and abuses committed in conflict-affected provinces were recorded in North Kivu alone, followed by Ituri (17%), South Kivu and Tanganyika4 (9% each). Sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, increasingly affected women and girls. In comparison to June 2020, there was a 132% rise in reported Gender Based Violence cases at the end of June 2021.

In Ituri, the actions of different Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs) had continuously affected the local populations, resulted in a significant number of civilians were killed or injured, massive displacements in foster families or in Internally Displaced Persons camps as well as intensified inter-ethnic rivalry while movement for return had slowed down. Irumu, Djugu, Mambasa, and Mahagi were the most affected territories, where repeating attacks, including violations against women and children were reported, increasingly during the second half of the year. Several armed groups intensified their violent attacks specifically targeted civilians, killed, looted and abducted them which led in a context where logistical and security access is extremely restricted. 5 The highly volatile security conditions had hampered humanitarian assistance and some humanitarian organizations.

The humanitarian situation in North Kivu had also remained complex, with multiple Non State Armed Groups operating in Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rusthuru, and Walikale territories had led to increase multisector needs of the populations as well as a deterioration in humanitarian access, limited the response capacities of humanitarian organizations. In Beni territory, the National Defense operations led to a spillover of the conflict in Ituri (South Irumu and South Mambasa), amplified by the intervention of the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) from December 1 to support the Armed Force of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) operations. In Beni territory, the situation remained worrying as the use of indiscriminate impact weapons, such as improvised explosive devices, increased7 . These situations hadexposed civilians to higher risks of violence and human rights abuses8 , led to population movements9 and increased their humanitarian needs.

In South Kivu and Maniema provinces, the Inter-ethnic hostilities and tensions involving numerous armed groups remained the main cause for insecurity and population movement affected mostly the Haut- and Moyens Plateaux of Fizi-Uvira-Mwenga, in the southern part of the province with a spillover to the Moyens plateaux of Fizi and the Ruzizi plain and had directly affected children in the area. In addition, impracticable or inexistent roads largely hampered a humanitarian response in both provinces.

In Tanganyika, the situation remained volatile in the northern territories of the province, in the territory of Kongolo, the northern part of Nyunzu and Kalemie territories. The launch of military operations to track down armed groups mainly came from Maniema and Tanganyika resulted in multiple population movements. In addition, Inter-ethnic confrontations, food and economic resources, as well as land, continued to occur. Nonetheless, the province continued to record return movements in more stable areas such as Kabalo, South Nyunzu, Kalemie.