Democratic Republic of Congo

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The WPHF hopes to fill crucial funding gaps in the Democratic Republic of Congo around issues related to women’s leadership in humanitarian action and governance at all levels.

The Added Value of the WPHF

In the DRC, the WPHF aims to ensure coordination of actions that promote women as key actors in conflict resolution, early recovery and sustainable development processes.


For nearly two decades, the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been the epicenter of one of the deadliest conflicts since World War II. As the conflict morphed from a regional war to a series of tenacious local insurgencies, the civilians caught in the middle have paid the steepest price.

The eastern Congo’s minerals power the world’s consumer electronics, and the country’s largely untapped farmlands have the potential to feed the rest of Africa. Yet disputes over these vast resources often drive conflict as rebel groups seek to control them to fund their own campaigns, resulting in kidnappings, looting, killings, mass rape of women and the burning of villages. Armed groups continue to cause insecurity and massive population displacement, preventing stabilization and sustainable development in eastern DRC.

The Issue

Women bear the brunt of conflict, constituting over 3.6 million of the total 7 million people demonstrating humanitarian need. Women are underrepresented in the management of humanitarian aid and their representation in humanitarian and peace processes remains unacceptably weak.

Complementarities & Partnerships

CSO support on issues related to women’s leadership and their promotion in governance require special attention from the WPHF. UN Women has thus far established strong partnerships with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to support advocacy on implementation of DRC commitments on WPS. National Secretariat 1325 was established within the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to coordinate interventions aiming to support the implementation of DRC NAP 1325. This crucial instrument needs special attention and support from WPHF programming in order to strengthen and improve the reporting process that measures compliance of the DRC government with its WPS commitments.

In DRC, the WPHF will specifically focus on:

  1. Ensuring that humanitarian and crisis response frameworks and programming are gender inclusive and that the economic power of women and girls in crisis and natural disaster is strengthened to promote their autonomy.
  2. Building the capacity of women civil society organizations to leverage and contribute to ongoing policy reforms, such as DRC’s family code and the revised 1325 National Action Plan (NAP), to enhance the country’s legal framework on issues of women, peace and security (WPS).

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