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Impact of COVID-19 on our work in the DR Congo

Impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the operations of humanitarian and development actors in the Democratic Republic of Congo: status update and recommendations from International NGOs

According to the latest official report of the Ministry of Health dated 25 March 2020, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has 48 confirmed cases of people with COVID-19 and 3 deaths. Members of the DRC INGO Forum, a body of more than 105 international organizations operating in the country, wish to share with all stakeholders their perspectives on the impact of epidemic on their response capacity, hoping that the recommendations made in this document can be taken up.

If the situation at the global level is alarming, it is all the more so in the DRC where health facilities are unprepared to respond to an epidemic of this magnitude. The epidemic will lead, directly, to the endangerment of a very large number of Congolese men and women, and simultaneously also risks having a negative impact on the ongoing response to urgent humanitarian needs.

Indeed, the measures taken to stem the spread of COVID-19, although necessary, are likely to have a negative multiplier effect on already vulnerable populations. The impact could go beyond overcrowding of health facilities and have consequences on the human, socio-economic, logistical, financial and security levels. Such an impact on a country like the DRC, on continental proportions, could have a destabilizing effect on the entire region.

As humanitarian workers, we must maintain lifesaving programs at all costs, while ensuring t