Six thousand people are displaced every day. Hundred militias operate in resource-rich eastern Congo
The country from which many of the raw materials for cell phones and electric cars come, there is little interest in the situation of the people and also not in the solution of the conflict, because the wealth of the country flows so to the rich world.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the scene of the largest number of new internal displacements in the world, with an average of 6,000 people forced from their homes every day. Communities fled brutal violence, homes were destroyed, and families lacked access to basic services such as water or health care. In total, more than five million people are currently displaced within the DRC, and another million have fled the country, with most living as refugees in neighboring countries. Is it a problem for us when people are displaced? We are a human family after all: first of ten reports on the world's most ignored crises from the Norwegian Refugee Council.
The Norwegian Refugee Council does not only care about the people who have fled. It also makes visible the situation of people in the areas from which people flee or are displaced. Every year, it compiles a list of the ten most ignored crises in the world. In doing so, he wants to wake up people and states, encourage them to support the people and get involved in overcoming the crises. We want to support this and also contribute to the networking of people who, in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, see themselves as one human family and want to support our fellow human beings in and from these areas. We are now publishing the reports on the ten countries one after the other.
We begin with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The country is as large as all of Western Europe. It was created in Berlin in 1885 by European countries and the USA. Under Bismarck's conference leadership, the states gave the Congo to the Belgian King Leopold as private property. In terrible massacres by Belgian soldiers and their auxiliaries and European companies, half of the Congolese lost their lives, ten out of 20 million inhabitants. The Prime Minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, elected only after independence, wanted the Congolese to determine the fate of the country themselves. He no longer wanted to leave the country's raw materials to international corporations, but to use them to improve the living conditions of the Congolese and to negotiate with the Europeans on an equal footing. U.S. President Eisenhower decided to eliminate him, as did the Belgian government. In a collusion of Western states, he was killed and the country was plunged into chaos that continues to this day. Through militias, corrupt networks and neighboring countries, the corporations of the industrialized countries take the raw materials from the country, which then end up in our electric cars and cell phones, among other things. For them, the crisis is going well: they get what they want, cheap raw materials. There is no interest in solving the crisis, that's what the people who are involved with the people in Congo are finding out. What that means for the people of Congo is clear from the NRC report. If you find this as outrageous as we do, get involved with us and build a team to support the Congolese people who want to assert their human right to life and human dignity.
The mega-crisis engulfing the Democratic Republic of the Congo warranted a mega-response in 2020. Instead, Congolese communities suffered in silence, far from the media limelight and with acutely low international support.
DR Congo’s humanitarian emergency took a downturn in 2020 due to an upsurge in violence and food insecurity. The country became home to the largest number of new internal displacements worldwide, with an average of 6,000 people forced from their homes every single day. Communities fled brutal violence, houses were razed, and families were left without access to basic services like water or healthcare.
In total, more than five million people are currently internally displaced within DR Congo, and an additional million have fled the country, with the majority living as refugees in neighbouring countries.
Humanitarian needs soared Cyclical violence and displacement left vast amounts of land unfarmed, and people homeless and cut off from their livelihoods. Combined with a slump in the economy and the economic impacts of Covid-19, this meant that hunger levels and humanitarian needs soared. Almost 20 million people were reliant on aid by the end of 2020, compared with some 13 million people the year before. On top of this, the country was affected by two Ebola outbreaks.
Little international support The gap between humanitarian needs and support was alarming. Less than 33 per cent of the money required to meet the needs of the Congolese people was received, making it one of the world’s most underfunded crises. The stark funding reality in 2020 led the United Nations to appeal for funding to support only 10 million out of the 20 million people in need in 2021.
Decades of conflict have created donor fatigue and a lack of willingness to acknowledge or address the emergencies that are unfolding against a backdrop of a protracted crisis.
Little protection Donor fatigue was matched by a lack of international political initiatives to bring stability to this African nation. About 100 armed groups were reportedly operating in the eastern parts of the country, wreaking havoc on communities. Despite the presence of UN peacekeepers, the Congolese government and the international community largely failed to protect civilians from being killed, women from being raped by armed men, and children from being recruited by armed groups.
The conflict led to a lack of education opportunities, jeopardising the future of a generation and making children extra vulnerable to violence and recruitment.
2021 brings new record lows
Hunger levels soared further as 2021 arrived, with the United Nations ringing the alarm bell in April that a record 27 million people – one in three Congolese – were suffering from acute hunger.