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DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.Congo) is a large country in the centre of Africa.

Home to approximately 75 million people, it is roughly the size of Western Australia.  The D.R.Congo offers an abundance of natural resources, many of which have been exploited by foreign companies or pillaged by corrupt leaders. Sadly, the country has not greatly benefited from these resources, and conflict for control of mineral wealth is responsible for some of the nation’s most violent atrocities.

The Second Congo War is the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II, killing up to 6 million people since 1998.  More than 90% of these deaths have not occurred as a direct result of combat. They were a result of treatable, preventable diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition. The scale of death has been aggravated by displaced populations living in unsanitary and over-crowded conditions lacking access to shelter, water, food and medicine. Of these deaths, 47% were children under five.

Despite the signing of peace accords in 2003, fighting continued in the east of the country in 2012.

The United Nations lists the D.R.Congo as one of the most dangerous places for a woman to live.  It has the highest incidence of sexual violence used as a weapon of war anywhere in the world. The D.R.Congo also has the world’s second-highest rate of infant mortality.

DR Congo – The Facts

2016 World Bank Report Data DR Congo Australia
HEALTH
Life Expectancy(years) 59 yrs 84 yrs
Infant mortality (per 1000 births ) 74.5 3
Child mortality under 5 yrs (/1000)   98 4.5
Adult mortality (per 1000 pop’n) 408 5.9
Maternal death rate (/100,000 births) 693 6
HIV Rate (% of pop’n 15-49 years) 0.8% 0.2%
AIDS DEATHS / year 100,000 100
Measles Immunization (% <2years old) 79% 94%
Nurses/Doctors per 100,000 pop’n 50/11 1,000/327
Hospital Beds / 100,000 pop’n 80 390
ECONOMIC
Poverty – % of people earn <$1.90 / day 77% 0%
INFLATION RATE 3.2% 3.4%
GDP – billions $35 $ 1,379
GDP growth rate 3.2% 1.9%
Foreign Investment (nett) $billions 1,674 41.95
DEMOGRAPHIC
Population  (millions) 78.74 22.3
%pop’n improved water access 52% 100%
%pop’n improved sanitation access 29% 100%

WAR DEATHS SINCE WW2 DEATHS
DR Congo – 1998 – 2013 ~ 6,000,000
Korean War – 1950-53 4,500,000
Vietnam War – 1955-75 3,000,000
Afghanistan – 1979 to present 2,000,000
Sudan – 1983-2005 2,000,000
Iran-Iraq war – 1980-88 2,000,000
Rwandan Genocide – 1994 500,000 – 1,000,000
2003 IRAQ war ~ 600,000
Yugoslavian war 1991-95 ~200,000 (4 million displaced)