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Top 5 things to know about poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

On Saturday, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda officials discussed how to end conflicts at their border. Political issues are just some of the issues for DR Congo. Poverty is one of the main ones.

It is essential to know that in Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is known for being the fourth country with the most significant population, with 95,930,038 million inhabitants as of Saturday, November 5, 2022. The first one is Nigeria with 206,1 million inhabitants. Therefore, today’s focus is on the top 5 things to know about poverty in DR Congo.

Top 5 things to know about poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Firstly, out of 92.4 million people in DR Congo (2021), nearly 60 million lived on less than $2.15 a day last year. Most Congolese work in the agricultural sector, but even if it is a dominant part of the DRC’s economy, the income one Congolese make is not enough to support a family. That is why the employment of children is not rare and can help a child gain money to eat and help his family.  

Another thing to know about poverty. When it comes to education, a substantial evolution has been made by the DRC. More and more kids enroll in school. Thanks to the free primary education system, nearly 4.5 million kids can enroll in a school. Usually, around 45% of children succeed in completing their primary education. Despite this evolution, approximately 4.1 million children between the ages of 10-14 are not enrolled in any school.

Thirdly, malnutrition in the DRC is the leading cause of death. A number that shows exactly what the situation is: « Only 36% of infants under six months are exclusively breastfed. » Covid-19 accelerated the nutrition crisis that the DRC was facing and transformed it into an immediate urgency situation. At the end of 2021, nearly 42% of Congolese children and adults were undernourished. The three main reasons for this are poor child-feeding practices, high levels of acute food insecurity, and inadequate access to health services.

52%. This is the number of Congolese that has access to essential water. When it comes to sanitation, only 29% have access to it. To those two issues is added another one: the hygiene one. Even if the DRC has more than « 50% of the African continent’s water reserves », the country fails to maintain its water drinkable because it cannot keep the necessary hygiene and sanitation for it.

Finally, UNICEF has a significant impact on the DRC. The organization works to improve the quality of life of the DRC’s population by focusing on the quality of the water by making sure they have access to drinkable water and sanitation. They built sanitation facilities where it was the most needed, at school. 

Some evolutions have been made in the DRC regarding the poverty that the country knows, but still, can do more. That is why it is vital to understand Congolese conditions regarding malnutrition, access to water, and education.



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