Why the Congo

Since 1994 the First and Second Congo Wars have resulted in the deaths of an estimated 5.4 million people making it the deadliest conflict since World War II. There are various militia groups that are still present in the Congo today. Government corruption, which led to a lack of schools, health care, and dependable income, has made life in the Congo very difficult. Sexual violence against women is quite prevalent, as well as the kidnapping of children where the boys are often used as soldiers and the girls are used as sex slaves. This has created an urgent need to protect the children of the DRC.

  • Average income per household: $484 1
  • Number of deaths of children under 5 years old in 2013: 319,977 2
  • Population below poverty line: 63% 3
  • Probability of dying before age 15: 49% for boys, 44% for girls 4
  • Life Expectancy at Birth: 59 years 5
  • Youth literacy rate Male- 79% Female- 53% 6


Explore more from Human Rights Watch and the Eastern Congo Initiative.
1 United Nations Data Retrieval System
2 UNICEF/WHO/The World Bank/UN Pop Div. Levels and Trends in Child Mortality. Report 2014
3 (2012 est.)
4 World Health Organization:
5 World Bank Group