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The war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been ongoing since 1995. At its height, it involved at least eight African nations with implicit involvement from several western countries. It has been named 'Africa's First World War' and there have been an estimated 5.4 million deaths since the start of the conflict(1).
There are many different factors contributing to the conflicts in DRC. As well as internal conflicts over basic resources and overspill from the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda, the conflict has been fuelled by the fact that as one of the world's richest countries in natural and mineral resources, DRC is of vast political and commercial interest to many countries around the world.
Although peace deals have been struck over the years, and despite a successful democratic election in 2006, war and prolonged social conflict continues in the eastern regions of Ituri and North Kivu. With an average of 45,000 people dying every month(1) (more than 1,000 people a day), the conflicts in the DRC continue to be the most deadly in the world since the Second World War.
The majority of these deaths are from non-violent causes; conditions like malaria, diarrohea, and malnutrition which are exacerbated by the situation of war where access to medical care is difficult.