Democratic Republic of Congo

Rehema sits on the wall smiling after 3 months of clubfoot rehabilitation.
  • 11.6m People with disability [1]
  • 197,000 People who are blind [2]
  • 64% People live in poverty [3]

Nearly two thirds of the 77 million people living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa live below the poverty line. Despite vast mineral wealth and other natural resources, its ranking in the latest UN Human Development Index – an internationally-recognised measure of people’s well-being - is one of the lowest at 176th out of 188 countries.

DRC’s widespread poverty follows decades of civil war that is reported to have claimed six million lives in fighting, disease and malnutrition. Conflict has continued in the Kasai region where the UN has warned of another major humanitarian crisis after violence in August 2016 forced 1.5 million people from their homes.

CBM has been working with partners in DRC since 1975, preventing blindness, improving health and helping people with disabilities go to school, earn a living, access health care/rehabilitation and secure respect in their communities.

  • [1] 15% of population - WHO estimate that 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability.
  • [2] IAPB, Vision Atlas.
  • [3] World Bank.

In action

Elysee with her grandmother Genevieve after cataract operation.

Saving sight in remote communities

An estimated 1.2% of the population of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are blind. Many people have no access to…

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Women and son hugging.

Treating blinding diseases

Blinding diseases like trachoma and river blindness flourish in conditions of poverty, causing pain and blindness…

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Outreach volunteer, Theophile, has been trained by CBM to distribute trachoma medication to rural communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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