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Conflict in DRC

Recently displaced families collect water from a point installed by Oxfam at Lac Vert Camp in Goma. Photo by Kate Holt/Oxfam
Updated January 2014

For decades, ethnic tensions and disputes over land and resources have forced countless people from their homes in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Oxfam builds and repairs of water systems in communities that host displaced people and we advocate for people's right to be protected from violence and exploitation.

In the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the absence of a strong state authority has allowed violence and conflict to spin out of control as ethnic tensions and disputes over resources flare. The ongoing volatility has forced many families to flee their homes to seek safety in either in camps for displaced people or in host communities, where Oxfam has helped to meet their emergency needs.

Our response

Providing water and sanitation

In camps in Congo and at a transit center in western Uganda, to which many families have fled, Oxfam has provided clean water and sanitation services, including the construction of latrines and bathing stalls. In Uganda, Oxfam has continued to coordinate hygiene initiatives aimed at preventing the outbreak of waterborne diseases. Oxfam also intervenes in villages to which displaced people are flocking, working to provide healthy water and sanitation facilities to both host communities and the newcomers.

Advocating for rights, strengthening resilience

Through our protection programs in North and South Kivu, we aim to strengthen the ability of people to advocate for their rights, including the right to protection from violence and exploitation. Our longer term work on water, sanitation and hygiene in the western part of the country aims to strengthen the resilience of local people.

Stories & updates

First Person blog

Another view of Goma

Why Armin Rosen's article in The Atlantic tells a story about DRC that we need to hear.

First Person blog

4 photos that remind us why we need an arms trade treaty

When I catch the eye of the woman in the first photo below and recall the camps for displaced people I visited a few years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I know why an international arms trade treaty is more important than ever. Conflict, fueled by a steady flow of poorly regulated weapons, […]

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