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Fragility and development in Democratic Republic of Congo inquiry launched

26 April 2016

The International Development Committee is holding an inquiry into Fragility and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Scope of the inquiry

The International Development Committee invites written submissions into all aspects of DFID's work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and is particularly interested in the following areas:

  • What difficulties do DRC's high levels of fragility and instability present for DFID's efforts to reduce poverty? In light of these, how effective has the UK Government's work in DRC been on peace-building, democracy (including on elections), and strengthening and building resilience into governance structures and institutions?
  • What are the major challenges for DFID in providing humanitarian assistance in DRC, and how has it been overcoming these?
  • How effective has DFID's work on gender equality been in DRC, including its work to eliminate violence against women and girls and to empower adolescent girls? What could DFID be doing better?
  • How much success has DFID's programme on private sector development in DRC, including √Član RDC, had in supporting jobs and livelihoods? What has DFID's work on mining sector reform achieved?
  • What impact has DFID's work had on improving basic services in DRC? In particular:
    o How successful has it been in strengthening the health system, including work to control and combat malaria and Ebola?
    o What lessons can be learned from DFID's education programmes in DRC, and what more could DFID be doing to support access to quality education?

Written Submissions

The deadline for written submissions is Monday 6 June 2016. The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.

The Committee considers requests for reasonable adjustments to its usual arrangements for taking evidence and publishing material, to enhance access. Please contact or telephone 020 7219 1223.


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of only $745.8 and ranking 176th of 188 countries on the UNDP Human Development Index. Despite this, it is a country with a great wealth of natural resources, including untapped mineral deposits worth an estimated $24 trillion.

Given its great economic potential, a major factor in its underdevelopment is its continuing instability, following a number of conflicts beginning in the 1990s. Conflict is estimated to have killed 5.4 million people in DRC and sporadic fighting with rebel groups continues in the east of the country. The resulting fragility in DRC has led to the weakening of its governance structures, infrastructure and public services.

UK aid is estimated to account for about £306m of development assistance to DRC. In DFID's most recent operational plan for the country, which expires this year, the Department identified that the scale of the challenge in DRC is enormous. It laid out its priorities over the last few years, including strengthening the rule of law, humanitarian intervention, transforming the state's ability to resource and deliver services, economic development, and empowering women and girls.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto