The DRC is battling the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history
• On July 17, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a public health emergency of international concern.
• Fears continue to grow as Ebola has been confirmed in Goma, a city of 2 million people on DRC’s border with Rwanda.
• More than 2,300 cases have now been reported in eastern part of the country – including hundreds of children. More than 500 children have died from the disease.
• Insecurity, violence and an extreme hunger crisis is making it even more difficult to contain the outbreak.
Help Save Children in the DRC
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the worst countries in which to be a child. Home to one of the world’s poorest health systems, one in five children in the DRC dies of preventable diseases before their 5th birthday. Increasing numbers of families and children are being displaced due to violence and conflict. An extreme hunger crisis is threatening some 4.6 million acutely malnourished children . And too many children are out of school, having to work or orphaned as a result of the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.
What's Happening in the DRC Right Now?
Fear and suspicion threatens the fight against Ebola, a deadly disease impacting children and families in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Uganda.
The Challenges for Children in the DRC
With high rates of poverty, little access to healthcare or education, and increasing violence, children in the Democratic Republic of Congo need your help.*
- 63% of people live in poverty
- 91 out of 1,000 children die before their 5th birthday
- 43% of children have stunted growth due to severe malnutrition
- 17% of school-age children are out of school
- 38% of children are engaged in child labor
- 21% of girls age 15-19 are married
- 125 out of 1000 girls give birth between age 15-19
- 67% of girls age 15 and older struggle to read or write
How You’re Changing Children’s Lives
Working on behalf of children in the DRC since 1994, today Save the Children works in five regions throughout the troubled country. Partnering with local communities and other stakeholders at all levels, Save the Children’s staff help children in the Democratic Republic of Congo by getting children back to school, providing them with healthcare and nutrition support, and protecting them from exploitation and abuse.
We have increased access to quality basic education for thousands of children in elementary schools across the country, training teachers, distributing learning materials, constructing classrooms and establishing children's clubs that encourage children to stay in school. We’ve reached thousands of vulnerable children by training local leaders and communities to prevent and respond to exploitation, abuse, violence and neglect, providing medical, emotional and social support to hundreds of separated and unaccompanied children, and identifying and supporting survivors of sexual violence.
- Protected 55,238 children from harm
- Supported 235,297 children in times of crisis
- Provided 578,836 children with a healthy start in life
- Gave 40,318 children vital nourishment
How to Help Children in the DRC
Children should be protected in times of crisis and conflict. That's why Save the Children is helping children in the U.S. and around the world prepare for and recover from disasters. As severe weather, crippling poverty and war continue to impact children, your support today can help save lives. Donate to the Children's Emergency Fund today.
Sources: * Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts and from the 2019 Global Childhood Report. You can access detailed data here. Other sources as follows: Population: CIA World Factbook; The World Bank, 2016; Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS)
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