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Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1978. In 1994, its work had to be suspended due to the civil war and the resulting security risks. International cooperation was resumed in 2002. Currently, more than 200 national and 30 international staff, four development workers and three integrated experts are working for GIZ in this country.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been in the grip of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises for the past 20 years. Despite its vast mineral wealth, 75 per cent of its 70 million people live below the poverty line, and according to the United Nations, around 10 per cent of the population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The country ranks 176th out of 188 countries listed in the Human Development Index (2015). Average life expectancy is just under 60 years.

Democratic elections – the first for 40 years – were held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2006. Joseph Kabila was elected as President.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the third largest country on the African continent. Most of the rainforests of the Congo Basin – the world’s second largest after the Amazon – are located here. It is in the global interest to preserve this vast natural carbon sink and its unique biological diversity.

The guiding principles for German development cooperation form the basis for GIZ’s work on behalf of BMZ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, focusing on sustainable poverty reduction and peacebuilding. A number of projects are implemented in cooperation with KfW Development Bank. The Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers produced by the country with the assistance of the World Bank and Germany map out the direction for the international support programme.

GIZ’s priority areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are:

  • water and sanitation
  • natural resources
  • sustainable economic development

In addition, GIZ supports the peace, reintegration and democratisation process and provides transitional development assistance for this purpose in the form of seeds and agricultural tools, for example. The transitional development assistance package also includes rebuilding roads, restoring the water supply network and advising on nutrition and employment. In order to re-establish long-term livelihood security, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is receiving support from One World – No Hunger, a BMZ special initiative.

On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office (AA), GIZ is implementing measures to improve the performance capacity of the Congolese police force. It is also working with the Congo Basin Commission (CICOS) on support for transboundary initiatives. This includes the expansion of inland shipping on the Congo River and the development of strategies for its peaceful economic use.