About DRC

Background

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Africa’s 3rd largest country and is home to over 68 million people

Since 1998, violent conflict, disease and poverty in the DRC have killed over 5 million men, women, and children—more than any war since World War II.  As the conflict continues to simmer, more than 1.3 million people who have been forced from their homes live in crowded camps and with host families across the DRC.

The humanitarian crisis is especially severe in eastern Congo.  In some areas of eastern Congo, 2 out of 3 women have been victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence.  Tens of thousands of children are recruited to become soldiers, and millions of people are denied the chance to earn a living and provide for their families due to continuing instability and poverty.

The Eastern Congo Initiative was founded by Ben Affleck and other leading philanthropists to bring to light these atrocities, while advocating for action that will allow the people of Congo to forge their own path to stability and peace.

No matter how long the night the day is sure to come—Congolese Proverb

Despite overwhelming odds, there is hope across eastern Congo today.  Communities are working together to help those in need, create economic opportunity and advocate for peace.  Leaders from around the world are working in partnership with the people of the DRC, and people from around the world are learning about and advocating for a new future for the region.

Did You Know?

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Africa’s 3rd largest country and is home to over 68 million people. Since 1998, violent conflict, disease and poverty in the DRC have killed over 5 million men, women, and children—more than any war since World War II. As the conflict continues to simmer, more than 1.3 million people who have been forced from their homes live in crowded camps and with host families across the DRC.

Continue Reading

History of the Conflict

In the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed, millions of Rwandan refugees flooded into the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. As a new Tutsi government was established in Rwanda after the genocide, more than two million Hutus sought refuge in eastern Congo. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that only 7% of these refugees were perpetrators of the genocide (often referred to as Interhamwe or FDLR—the Federation for the Liberation of Rwanda).

Continue Reading