55 million internally displaced persons worldwide ‒ a sad record high

Humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, © Welthungerhilfe

20.05.2021 - Article

Worldwide, over 80 million people have been forced from their homes. Most of them are displaced within their own country. The situation is particularly grave in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The German Government is committed to protecting and helping internally displaced persons all over the world.

Fifty‑five million people worldwide are displaced in their own country as a result of conflicts, violence or natural disasters. These figures come from the Global Report on Internal Displacement 2021 published today (20 May 2021) by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The majority of internally displaced persons ‒ 48 million people ‒ fled from war and violence, while a further seven million sought protection from natural disasters, such as the tropical storms Iota and Eta in Central America. The number of internally displaced persons has now reached a record high. The violent conflicts in the Tigray region in Ethiopia, as well as in Mozambique and Burkina Faso, are also behind the increase. The rise in numbers is particularly alarming in view of the COVID‑19 pandemic, which has prevented some data from being collected and led many people to avoid emergency accommodation for internally displaced persons because of fear of infection.

Almost one in ten internally displaced person lives in the DRC

As a result of complex and violent conflicts, floods and epidemics, over five million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been forced to leave their homes. The situation is particularly dramatic in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. In response, the Federal Foreign Office is supporting humanitarian aid measures by NGOs in these two provinces. Approximately 6.5 million euro have been allocated for 2021.

Alleviating hunger in the long term

With funding from the Federal Foreign Office, the aid organisation Welthungerhilfe helps people directly affected by hunger, as well as communities that take in internally displaced persons. In order to improve people’s long‑term situation, Welthungerhilfe also provides seeds and teaches people about more efficient agriculture and nutrition. Furthermore, the project funds the construction of sanitary infrastructure and training on hygiene in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The Federal Foreign Office also provides funding for a child‑protection project run by the NGO World Vision International. As part of the project in North Kivu, World Vision International runs aid centres aimed at protecting children from child labour and sexual exploitation. The NGO also provides professional psychological support. The Federal Foreign Office has allocated over 1.5 million euro to the project for 2020 and 2021.

In total, Germany provided some 70 million euro in humanitarian aid to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2020.


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