DR Congo

UNICEF DRC Humanitarian Situation Report No. 5: May 2021



• The eruption of Mount Nyragongo on 22 May 2021 led to 32 deaths and the destruction of 3,629 houses in Goma, while the evacuation on 27 May led to the displacement of around 234,000 persons.
During the last week of May, UNICEF provided a life-saving assistance in displacement areas (Sake, Minova, Rutshuru), with priority given to assistance at the community level in WASH, Cholera response and Child protection.

• As of May 31st , 2021, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has already reported a total of 3,201 cholera cases, with 86 deaths. This represent a decrease of 68.3% in number of cases, and of 45% in number of deaths compared to 2020, whereas the fatality rate has risen from 1.3% to 2.7% from 2020 to 2021.

• In May 2021, 36,683 people affected by humanitarian crises in Ituri, and North-Kivu provinces have been provided with Non-Food Items (NFI) and WASH life-saving emergency packages through UNICEF’s Rapid Response (UniRR). As of 13 June 2021, the DRC has already reported 35,668 confirmed cases of COVID – 19, with 846 death, and entered its third wave of the pandemic.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Inter-community violence and armed conflict:

On May 6, 2020, President Felix Tshisekedi declared a state of siege in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, under a one-month renewable arrangement. The aim of giving power to military governors in the two provinces is to combat the non-state armed groups (NSAGs) more effectively in the east of the country. The state of siege was extended at the request of the President for an additional two weeks on May 29.

In Ituri, FARDC increased military operations against the positions of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in Djugu and Mambasa territories.

In North-Kivu, despite the state of siege declared on 6 May by the President Félix Tshisekedi, violence has intensified, especially in Mutwanga and Rwenzori heath zones, with 35,000 households displaced in May. The “state of siege in these both Ituri and North Kivu provinces increases child protection risks particularly in terms of grave violations.
In South-Kivu, intercommunity tensions led to the displacement of 15,000 persons in Katasomwa and 40,000 persons in Bunyakiri, while a new wave of violence has surged in the Hauts Plateaux.

In Tanganyika, Nyunzu and Kalemie territories remain hotspots of the violence between FARDC and NSAGs. Meanwhile, tensions between the community wa and Bantu are still ongoing.

Natural disasters:

In North Kivu, the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano on 22 May led to the displacement of 234,000 people, destroyed at least 3,629 houses, seven schools and four health centers. The eruption and displacement related to the eruption led separation of 1,340 children from their families and initially over 195,000 people without access to safe and clean water. The eruption also led to many family separation and increased child protection risk incidents including GBV. As of 29 May, 1,361 unaccompanied children have been identified.


New suspected cases of pneumonic plague have been reported in Ituri (Fataki and Drodro HZ) and number of notified cases of measles continue to increase.

Regarding Cholera, as of 31 May 2021, the DRC has reported 3,201 cholera cases, with 86 deaths, representing a death rate of 2.7%. These numbers are significantly down from 2020, when there were 10,803 cases and 132 deaths on the same date. However, the case fatality rate increased from 1.3% to 2.7% between 2020 and 2021.

As of June 13, 2021, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected 23 out of the 26 provinces, with a total of 35,668 confirmed cases and 846 deaths. Around 23,733 have been vaccinated in DRC during May. In response to the recent increase in number of cases, the Government and the provincial authorities have put in place mitigation measures such as curfew and limitations of the transportation conditions.