Despite its vast physical size and abundant natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking 176th out of 188 countries and territories in the 2015 Human Development Index. Child poverty is widespread and particularly concentrated in conflict-affected and hard-to-reach areas. According to a recent UNICEF study, 80 per cent of children under 15 years old experience at least two major deprivations.

Despite sustained growth in recent years, DRC’s economy is still struggling and can’t provide the Government the revenue required to meet the basic needs of the population, including children. In 2016, political instability, the persistence of conflicts in the East and the sharp fall in global commodity prices were aggravating factors.

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