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.