With some 2.7 million internally displaced people (IDPs) already in the country, fighting continues to drive people from their homes, particularly in the east of the country. More than 1.4 million former IDPs have returned to their homes in the past 18 months, often to find that their houses and possessions had been destroyed or looted. Meanwhile, an estimated 120,000 refugees are now living in the DRC, including more than 90,000 from neighboring Central African Republic.
A nationwide study carried out in December 2014 found that there are more than 6.5 million people – 10 percent of the population – in a situation of acute food insecurity. Most of these food-insecure people live in the conflict-affected provinces of eastern DRC.
According to the results of a May 2014 Demographic and Health Survey, 8 percent of children under the age of five - nearly one million children - suffer from acute malnutrition and 43 percent - or about six million children – suffer from chronic malnutrition. Child mortality rates are among the highest in the world.
The DRC is rich in natural resources and is endowed with the world's second largest rain forest. However, decades of war and mismanagement have resulted in economic stagnation and a deterioration of its infrastructure. Food insecurity affects many throughout the country. People’s needs are immense due to extreme poverty, ongoing armed conflict, poor access to services, and limited or even non-existent infrastructure.
The country is ranked fourth (174 out of 178) in the Failed States Index compiled by Fund for Peace. Until 2012, the DRC was ranked last in the International Food Policy Research Institute Global Hunger Index. The country ranks 186 out of 187 on the latest Human Development Index published by the United Nations Development Programme.