DR Congo

UNICEF Democratic Republic of the Congo Humanitarian Situation Report No. 4 - April 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



  • After 52 days without any Ebola confirmed cases, one new Ebola case was reported in Beni, North Kivu province on the 10th of April 2020, followed by another confirmed case on the 12th of April. UNICEF continues its response to the DRC’s 10th Ebola outbreak. The latest Ebola situation report can be found following this link

  • Since the identification of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the DRC, schools have closed across the country to limit the spread of the virus. Among other increased needs, the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbates the significant needs in education related to access to quality education. The latest COVID-19 situation report can be found following this link

  • UNICEF has provided life-saving emergency packages in NFI/Shelter to more than 60,000 households while ensuring COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

UNICEF appeals for US$ 262M to sustain the provision of humanitarian services for women and children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In April 2020, UNOCHA has generously contributed to UNICEF DRC humanitarian response. UNICEF expresses its sincere gratitude to all public and private donors for the contributions received to date. However, the 2020 HAC has a funding gap of 84%, with significant funding needs in nutrition, health, WASH, education, and communication for development.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

During the reporting period, the humanitarian context in the DRC was characterized by multiple epidemic outbreaks (COVID-19, measles, and cholera), conflict outbreaks, and flooding.

As of 29 April 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected seven provinces in the DRC, with a total of 572 confirmed cases distributed as follows: Kinshasa 556 cases, Nord-Kivu 6 cases, Sud-Kivu 4 cases, Ituri 2 cases, Kwilu 1 case, Haut-Katanga 1 case, and Kongo Central 2 cases. As a result of the pandemic, schools remained closed across the country and increased risk of disease outbreaks remains high due to weak health systems. Despite these challenges, UNICEF continues to respond to humanitarian needs across the country while ensuring the implementation of COVID-19 prevention measures. The latest COVID-19 situation report can be found here link.

During the reporting period, a resurgence of violence from active militia groups has led to the displacement of an estimated 200,000 persons in Mahagi, Djugu and Irumu territories, in addition to the 1.2 million people already displaced in the province as a result of a two-year persisting conflict. The violent conflicts continue to worsen the protective environment with significant impact on children. 123 grave violations affecting children have been verified including 50 cases of murder and mutilation, 50 attacks against schools and 13 attacks against hospitals. The number of allegations is much higher, especially for attacks on schools and hospitals, which indicates a new cycle of particularly intense violence compared to last year with a new affected territory (Mahagi). In addition, 407 new unaccompanied children (196 girls) have been identified. In the IDPs camp, 60 Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases affecting children have been registered (all of them were provided with assistance). 97 women and 12 men were also identified as victims of sexual violence.

The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sites in Bunia received 15,000 newly displaced persons. The remaining IDPs currently reside in public spaces and buildings (schools, churches), live in very crowded conditions and are exposed to numerous health and protection risks. Immediate multisectoral emergency humanitarian assistance is required.

With the resurgence of violence, significant material and human damage has been recorded, including burnt vehicles, cargoes, including fuel and essentials supplies imported from Uganda. More than 100 civilians have been brutally killed, villages destroyed, 49 health structures and 15 primary schools either looted and / or burned. The multiplication of attacks recorded on the RN27 has caused the disruption of transportation on this route, resulting in significant economic consequences in the town of Bunia with the soaring prices of essential goods, further exacerbating the humanitarian needs and food security. Due to heightened level of insecurity, humanitarian access has sharply reduced, as 70% of actors have withdrawn from the sites, resulting in the suspension of humanitarian assistance activities in the Djugu area.

Ongoing armed conflicts in Tanganyika province has affected humanitarian access in Nyunzu territory while an estimated 60,000 affected people continue to live in precarious conditions with limited access to basic social services (WASH, education, health care). During a recent evaluation conducted by Croix Rouge RDC (CRRDC), 6,054 IDPs have been recorded, of which 30 unaccompanied children (18 in Mwange and 12 in Fube).

In North Kivu province, more than 1.3 million people are internally displaced and nearly 700,000 people are returnees due to humanitarian crises (OCHA, Feb 2020). 94% of IDPs live with host communities, while over 90,400 persons live in 22 IDP spontaneous sites. Significant needs in education have been identified with approximately 445,617 out of school children due to the mass movements of populations and rupture of education. In addition, 54 health centers have been destroyed because of the violent conflicts, resulting in increased health needs among IDPs and returnees. Between January and September 2019, 7,813 protection incidents have been recorded in the province, particularly affecting women and children.

During the reporting period, torrential rains affected the City of Uvira and Ruzizi Plain in South Kivu province, causing significant human and material damage. According to the humanitarian coordination and local authorities, 15,000 households (70,000 people of which 71% are children) were affected by the loss, either partial or total, of their goods (houses, essential household items, food stock, etc.). Of those affected by the floods, more than 5,200 households are housed in more than 40 regrouping sites (schools, churches, private houses) in the city of Uvira. The water supply disruption due to the damage to the local water treatment plant affects more than 250,000 people. This disruption will heighten the risk of cholera in an endemic region that has registered more than 1,800 cases since the beginning of the year. Five cases of cholera have already been reported in the displacement sites. The local health response capacity is also severely reduced because the main health center situated in Mulongwe has been destroyed. Due to the lack of access to drinking water in the city, insufficient latrines, overcrowding, contamination of water systems, the risk of a cholera epidemic is multiplied.

Furthermore, flooding and torrential rains have affected over 233,305 persons in Tanganyika province. The floods have had significant infrastructural damage with 23 health facilities flooded and 212 schools affected (48 schools in Kabalo, 93 in Manono, 22 in Kalemie, 35 in Moba and 14 in Nyunzu). As of end of April, no humanitarian aid has been provided.

In Haut Lomami province, the territories of Bukama and Malemba Nkulu were affected by floods, which affected 95,670 displaced people (including around 47,170 children under 5, or 49%). 29 health centers and 122 schools have been destroyed, limiting access to quality education to over 22,675 school-aged children. Needs in WASH remain significant with limited access to drinking water, lack of personal hygiene, contamination of food and water, and high risks of diarrheal disease outbreaks (cholera).