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Democratic Republic of the Congo: facts and figures 2012

18-04-2013 Facts and Figures

Preventing violence against civilians

In 2012 the ICRC continued its efforts to protect civilians from the consequences of armed conflict and violence by increasing its presence among the people in the affected areas and reinforcing its confidential dialogue with State and non-State armed actors. In response to allegations of violations of international humanitarian law noted by its teams in the field, the ICRC made representations to all parties on a virtually daily basis. The representations were subsequently followed up.

Protecting people deprived of their freedom

In order to promote humane treatment and conditions of detention that comply with the Congolese laws and with international standards, in 2012 the ICRC:

  • carried out 370 visits to more than 17,000 detainees in around one hundred places of civilian or military detention;
  • provided individual follow-up for 1,600 detainees, in particular by offering them an opportunity to maintain contact with their loved ones by means of Red Cross messages.

Restoring family links among those separated by the fighting

Because of mass displacement, many people have become separated from their families, at times even across national borders. In cooperation with the Red Cross Society of the DRC, the ICRC did all it could to enable members of separated families to renew contact or to be reunited either in the DRC or in a neighbouring country.

In 2012 the ICRC:

  • reunited with their families more than 940 children who had become separated from their relatives and 270 children who had previously been enlisted by armed forces and groups;
  • visited several hundred children with a military past who were back with their families to ensure that they had settled back in well. One hundred of them were given a set of school materials or the means to start a small business or an agricultural activity;
  • collected and distributed more than 46,000 Red Cross messages.

Some 1,400 unaccompanied children, 300 of whom had previously been members of armed forces and groups were still waiting to be reunited with their families at the end of 2012. They are living in transit centres or with host families.

Improving health care

Continuing its regular assistance for health centres and hospitals in the RDC, in 2012 the ICRC:

  • dealt with medical treatment for nearly 1,700 people who had been wounded by bullets;
  • evacuated nearly 340 war wounded to appropriate medical facilities;
  • deployed, in November 2012, two surgical teams, which carried out 206 operations;
  • supplied medicines and materials for seven health-care facilities in the Kivus;
  • provided physical readaptation services for more than 760 war wounded;
  • provided support for 42 counselling centres, which take in and provide guidance for victims of sexual violence;
  • donated medicines to 19 prison dispensaries (representing more than 31,000 medical consultations);
  • provided therapeutic nutritional assistance for more than 1,000 detainees suffering from severe malnutrition.

Access to water and sanitation and construction work

In order to ensure better access to drinking water, the ICRC worked with the local facilities, REGIDESO (the national water board), the national rural water service (SNHR) and the Red Cross Society of the DRC. In rural areas, the ICRC joined forces with the local water services.

In 2012 the ICRC:

  • upgraded several drinking water distribution networks for the benefit of 2 million people in the Kivus and in Orientale province;
  • delivered drinking water for 90,000 displaced persons who had fled the fighting in Rutshuru and for the inhabitants of Goma and the surrounding districts;
  • built 14 health centres and renovated several other health-care facilities;
  • refurbished kitchens and improved the drinking water supply and sanitary facilities in 16 prisons.

Meeting essential needs and preserving the means of survival

The ICRC took action to maintain or re-establish the means of survival so as to enable families affected by conflict and armed violence to meet their essential needs.

In 2012 the ICRC:

  • distributed household articles to around 200,000 people (displaced persons, returning persons or other vulnerable people) and food assistance to more than 220,000 people;
  • distributed seed and tools to just under 79,000 people, healthy cassava cuttings to 100,000 people – the intention being to combat the cassava mosaic virus disease – and provided support for more than 6,700 people to repair their fishponds;
  • organized fairs where 25,000 people could acquire essential provisions;
  • provided 3,800 detainees at eight prisons with a food assistance programme based on produce grown in the prison gardens.

Cooperation with the Red Cross Society of the DRC

In 2012 the ICRC:

  • continued its financial support for the Red Cross Society of the DRC and provided, among other things, 12 emergency-response kits, 300 first-aid kits and material for the management of dead bodies;
  • trained volunteers in the management of dead bodies;
  • gave first-aid training to more than 700 volunteers;
  • provided support for activities to prevent cholera from spreading among displaced populations in South Kivu;
  • provided support for the Red Cross Society of the DRC in repairing natural water sources in five villages;
  • briefed volunteers on the risks associated with explosive remnants of war.

Promoting international humanitarian law

The ICRC makes every effort to make the standards of international humanitarian law and its neutral and impartial humanitarian work known among members of the army, the police force, armed groups and the civilian authorities.

In 2012 the ICRC:

  • provided opportunities for more than 13,000 members of the armed and security forces to take part in interactive meetings using case studies that had been adapted to the local context. More than one hundred members of armed groups took part in meetings of that kind and some of them were given first-aid training;
  • maintained regular contact with the authorities and representatives of the civil society with a view to exchanging views and to raising awareness of and promoting respect for the work of the ICRC in the field.