Democratic Republic of Congo: humanitarian crisis in Kasai
20 December 2017
The Kasai region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) is experiencing one the worst humanitarian crises in its history.
In August 2016, conflict escalated in this previously stable region of the country, between the forces of the regular Congolese Army (FARDC) and supporters of the Kamuina Nsapu group, following the violent death of their local leader.
Violence leaves over a million people living in dire conditions
To date it is estimated that more than one million people have been displaced. They have had to abandon their fields, and forced to live in appalling conditions, without the basics of life – food and clean water, and healthcare.
People living in the five provinces of the Kasai region — Kasai, Kasai Central, Eastern Kasai, Lomami and Sakuru — are paying the price of this conflict. Schools, hospitals and homes have been destroyed.
Congolese Catholic Church sounds the alarm bell
On a recent visit to the UK, Abbe Donatien Nshole, secretary general of the DR Congo Catholic Bishops’ Conference – CENCO, told CAFOD:
“In the Grand Kasai region we face a dire humanitarian situation. 31 Catholic health centres have been ransacked and 141 Catholic schools damaged.
“In addition, more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed; the greatest suffering is that of the people.”
CAFOD’s local partner on the ground, Caritas Congo, is being supported by our sister agency Caritas Relief Services (CRS) to assist vulnerable people with the most urgent needs; food aid, shelter, health and hygiene care, and water purification products.