Amount in $M
Long-term development assistance
Rich in natural resources and with a large population, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has enormous economic and social potential. Little has been done, however, to develop this potential for the benefit of the Congolese, and so extreme poverty persists throughout the country. The United Nations Development Programme ranks the DRC 186 out of 187 countries on its 2012 human development index. Fifty-nine percent of the Congolese people live on less than US$1.25/day.
A reduced demand from industrialized countries for base metal, wood, and coffee and the decline in export prices of mine products during the 2009 economic crisis have adversely affected economic activity and employment in the DRC.
As well, the country's government has limited capacity to ensure the security of the citizens and provide them with health, education, water, and sanitation services. In the eastern part of the DRC, the resurfacing and radicalization of armed groups is a matter of concern. People continue to be displaced and crime is on the rise, especially sexual violence against women and girls, which has become a major problem.
Children and youth make up a large segment of the population—47 percent of the people of the DRC are less than 15 years old. This group is rather vulnerable, given the high level of poverty everywhere in the country and the inadequacy of existing facilities to provide basic health care.
In 2006, after a decade of war and 32 years of dictatorship had demolished the country's institutions, the DRC held its first democratic presidential elections. A second election was held in 2011. Decentralization of government is underway, above all to give people easier access to basic services.
Canada's international development program in the DRC is aligned with the country's poverty reduction and growth strategy paper (PDF, 1.6 KB, 126 pages) developed by the Government of the DRC and based on five pillars:
Capacity building of public institutions is central to Canada's strategy in the DRC.
The goal of Canada's international development program in the DRC is to help establish a more democratic, prosperous, and equitable state—one that will be able to reduce poverty sustainably and secure the future of its children and youth. Canada also provides humanitarian assistance to communities in the DRC affected by conflict.
Canada is helping to strengthen the DRC's health system, focusing on the most urgent needs of the least privileged, especially of mothers, children, and youth. This includes making quality primary health care more available to the least privileged and building the management capacities of decision-makers in the health sector to make the system more effective.
Canada also focuses on strengthening the capacities of government officials, local authorities, and civil society to help the tens of thousands of women and girls who are victims of sexual violence in the eastern provinces of the DRC and in helping to fight such crimes.
The DRC adheres to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages). The Government of the DRC has established a framework to make aid more effective. The country's poverty reduction and growth strategy paper contains priority action plans. Donor countries are showing a clear willingness to align their activities with the DRC's priorities. The international community has pledged to support a common country assistance framework, which it has developed in response to the government's program.
In the interest of coordinating Canadian assistance with assistance from other donors, and as requested by the Government of the DRC, Canada is focusing its efforts on the Kinshasa area and in the Kivu provinces.
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