In 2021, IOM, in collaboration with its partners and other crisis response actors, seeks to provide urgently needed multisectoral humanitarian assistance, stabilization and recovery support to conflict-affected populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). IOM will also continue to support the government in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and post-Ebola stabilization efforts as well as strengthening preparedness for future public health hazards. Considering the many requests for accurate displacement data in the DRC, IOM also aims at expanding the scope of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) interventions to cover the entire country, including monitoring of population mobility to inform outbreak preparedness and response.
Vulnerable affected populations including displaced populations, and host communities with acute sectoral needs including WASH, shelter, NFIs, health, CCCM and protection.
In 2021, IOM aims to continue and strengthen its interventions in CCCM to ensure that basic minimum living standards for displaced populations are met within displacement sites and host communities, that the provision of humanitarian assistance is coordinated through the CCCM Working Group, that sectoral gaps (WASH, shelter, NFIs, protection, education and health) and protection risks are identified in consultation with communities, especially women and girls, and that mitigation measures are undertaken. IOM will also ensure that information on the numbers and profiles of IDPs are available, updated and shared with the humanitarian community on a regular basis. These initiatives will include:
- Monitoring arrivals and departures of IDPs;
- Providing and managing information on camp population and services through site assessments;
- Site planning/layout activities, site maintenance and improvements;
- Strengthening capacities of IDP committees, site managers and government partners on site administration and governance of structures and ensuring meaningful participation and representation of women;
- Supporting community-based protection mechanisms, closing sites when relevant;
- Providing appropriate and coordinated humanitarian assistance within the sites and in host communities by engaging and empowering IDPs through the provision of necessary tools for camp coordination and management;
- Advocating and coordinating efforts for voluntary return, relocation and reintegration for displaced populations;
- Providing training to camp management staff and partners to respond safely and ethically to protection incidents and ensure functional referral mechanisms.
Context-specific shelter operations in displacement sites, host communities and return areas are essential to support a minimum dignified standard of living, lower the risks of health-related issues, and reduce protection risks, including GBV. In 2021, IOM will continue to conduct regular need assessments to assess shelter and household needs in the coordinated displacement sites and in new spontaneous sites, as well as in host communities. The most vulnerable IDPs in these sites and host communities will be targeted and provided with emergency shelter and NFI kits through various modalities, including in-kind assistance and/or conditional cash. In North Kivu, Ituri and Tanganyika, IOM will:
- Continue an inclusive approach focused on engaging beneficiaries in order to provide improved, context-specific shelter solutions (e.g. emergency shelter, transitional shelter, conditional cash for shelter construction) based on people’s needs;
- Improve self-recovery and resilience mechanisms of conflict-affected IDPs by working with a group of community members trained in emergency shelter solutions to actively involve affected populations in the response;
- Provide IDPs with shelter materials and technical guidance, in line with sphere and cluster standards, on how to construct, repair, and maintain shelters;
- Provide materials and equipment to IDP committees to support the most vulnerable households (including persons with special needs, people living with disabilities, women heads of households, pregnant and breastfeeding women, people at risk and survivors of gender-based violence, etc.) with shelter construction;
- Conduct needs assessment and satisfaction surveys to ensure that protection is mainstreamed during shelter construction.
IOM’s WASH interventions aim at improving access to sufficient and safe WASH services for conflict-affected populations, as well as improving hygiene practices in displacement sites, host communities, and return areas in North Kivu, Tanganyika, and Ituri. This will include:
IOM will provide life-saving primary health services, referral, and health facility support in formal and informal displacement sites, return, relocation, and integration areas. These initiatives will include:
- Implementing essential health services and case management and referrals to specialised care. The health care package will depend on the context and already existing services and will include adult and paediatric care, nutritional services, management of communicable and non-communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health services, immunisation, GBV, health promotion, risk communication and community engagement activities;
- Supporting existing Ministry of Health facilities in crisis-affected zones and areas of return to ensure comprehensive and continuum of care for affected populations through the provision of equipment and consumables, upgrade of infrastructure, capacity-building trainings for frontline workers and need assessments;
- Improving capacities of health teams from IOM, Ministry of Health and partners operating in camps and out-of-camps, by enhancing knowledge and technical expertise on different aspects of emergency health in displacement settings.
IOM will provide MHPSS services with a focus on services which ensure a strengthened protection environment in the formal and informal displacement sites and in the host communities/communities of return. All activities will be in line with the IOM Manual on Community-Based MHPSS in Emergencies and Displacement. These initiatives will include:
- Facilitating access to psychosocial services (i.e. mobile MHPSS team, or counselling, PSS hubs, referrals, mediation, psychodrama, etc.) and other measures to ensure social considerations and the safety of beneficiaries;
- Strengthening family and community support for people who can maintain their mental health and psychosocial well-being if they receive help in accessing this level of assistance;
- Providing focused psychological services (i.e. individual and group counselling) to people with pre-existing and/or emerging forms of severe stress, behavioural and relational problems, and mental disorder conditions, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to survivors of violence;
- Strengthening the capacity of IOM’s personnel, civil society and government partners in the field of MHPSS including the provision of a survivor-centred approach in the case of violence and sexual violence.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
Populations displaced by conflict and/or disasters related to natural hazards, including IDPs, returnees, and communities. In addition, IOM supports the government’s work with former combatants to address their needs and support their reintegration and rehabilitation.
In recognition of the importance of effective governance of mineral resources, in 2021, IOM will work with people living in mining settlements to assess and address health needs and promote stability. In doing so, IOM supports related government authorities and institutions.
Diverse and interrelated drivers of conflict have perpetuated insecurity and led to cyclical non-state armed group recruitment. In close coordination with community stabilization initiatives, IOM will continue to implement peacebuilding interventions with a focus on identifying and addressing drivers of conflict by supporting both community-based and government-led peace initiatives. These initiatives will include:
IOM will continue to provide durable solutions to IDPs and conflict-affected communities through the provision of immediate and longer-term support, in-line with relevant frameworks on displacement, durable solutions and the humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach in the DRC. IOM will implement interventions in line with its Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations (PRDS) framework for a broader and more inclusive approach.
Interventions will be built upon the PRDS pillars: (1) protection, safety and security; (2) an adequate standard of living (access to adequate food, water, housing, health services and education); (3) access to sustainable livelihoods; and (4) inclusive governance. These initiatives will include:
- Supporting voluntary return, relocation and reintegration for displaced populations through the provision of transportation assistance, transitional shelter, and multisectoral cash assistance. IOM will ensure that beneficiaries are transported in a safe, voluntary and dignified way.
- Advocating at various fora (e.g. UNCT, clusters, etc.), to donors, and local authorities for coordinated efforts and programming across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus;
- Providing (re)integration support activities such as public information campaigns and activities, strengthening community social cohesion (in coordination with the peacebuilding component);
- Strengthening early economic recovery and value chains in order to reinforce livelihood opportunities (in coordination with the community stabilization component);
- Establishing an exchange platform for inclusive participation in the decision-making process;
- Raising awareness on international protection and assistance principles, including a module on camp closure and durable solutions.
IOM's programme will continue to employ a coordinated and integrated approach including democratic dialogue, strengthening state authority, return, reintegration and economic recovery, as well as responsible minerals trade. Strategic components of the programme include:
Primary health care coverage is insufficient in areas of return, thus impeding safe and sustainable reintegration and contributing to high burdens of morbidity and mortality among returnees and local communities. These initiatives will include:
- Rehabilitation of primary healthcare centres and supporting the provision of comprehensive care;
- Capacity-building of health professionals, including on mental health care and mobile population health needs;
- Development of an evidence-based strategy to address the health needs in mining contexts.
In addition to its interventions in areas of return, IOM will address the health needs of people living around the mining sites. Health systems strengthening initiatives in areas surrounding mining settlements will include:
- Rehabilitation of primary health care centres and supporting the provision of comprehensive care;
- Capacity-building of health professionals, including on mental health, communicable diseases, occupational health risks and GBV.
IOM will develop a mental health and psycho-social support strategy to complement the transition and recovery programme in post-Crisis communities. These initiatives will include:
- Strengthening and implementation of community-based support aiming at mending social fabrics and promoting social cohesion;
- Capacity-building of health professionals, local police and security actors on mental health issues;
- Provision of MHPSS for former combatants.
Beneficiaries will include: international border authorities, including national, provincial and local authorities, to strengthen international border management and global health security; populations affected/vulnerable to disease outbreaks and epidemics along major mobility pathways; and mobile populations crossing points of entry at international borders and points of health control along strategic mobility routes, as well as the communities living in the surrounding areas.
IOM will support the Ministry of Health to develop emergency preparedness and response plans, including for disease outbreaks, aiming to foster a migration-sensitive approach to preparedness and risk reduction. These initiatives will include:
- Mapping of health risks and emergencies in the areas of intervention;
- Population Mobility Mapping exercises to better understand mobility trends and inform national preparedness and response planning for outbreaks and other public health threats;
- Coordination with national and international actors;
- Supporting COVID-19 preparedness and response with a focus on preventing and monitoring risks of epidemic spread across borders and along major mobility routes in the country;
- Supporting laboratory investigation capacity as already done in 2020;
- Supporting COVID-19 vaccination of mobile populations at high-risk based on the yet-to-be finalised DRC COVID-19 vaccination strategy;
- Enhancing Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) across all IOM projects and target populations.
IOM will continue to build its expertise in global health security and health border management in DRC, both in emergency and stable contexts, providing support to the Ministry of Health and promoting a multi-sectoral approach to border management in collaboration with other IOM departments. Initiatives will include:
- Strengthening Ministry of Health technical and operational capacity on disease surveillance and management, and develop International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 competences at the national, provincial and local level;
- Fostering a multisectoral approach on the management of POE;
- Mapping of existing POE and main mobility routes;
- Developing and piloting a Community Event-Based Surveillance (CEBS) and RCCE strategy for mobile populations crossing international and provincial borders and the communities in which they live/work and transit, including informal cross border traders;
- Developing and piloting a zonal approach to mobile population health, integrating POE disease surveillance within the existing health zone structure.
MHPSS services are a key need in DRC, where protracted crises and violence have affected millions of people, yet the coverage of needs is largely insufficient. IOM will promote MHPSS know-how to a range of actors. These initiatives will include:
- Delivery of trainings directed toward several targeted audiences including health care workers, front-line workers at targeted points of entry, and security forces (e.g. police, Direction Générale de Migration - DGM).
First Line of Defence (FLOD) beneficiaries will include UN personnel and eligible dependents, as well as frontline workers and mobile populations providing COVID-19 related first line of defence services. DTM products will benefit the humanitarian community, including UN agencies, national and international NGOs, development actors, etc.
DTM tracks and monitors displacement and movements of populations in IDP sites and host communities. IOM aims to continue implementing different components of its DTM while expanding the ongoing DTM activities to reach nationwide coverage. The DTM interventions will focus on mobility tracking, registration of IDPs, surveys and assessments including intention surveys for durable solutions and vulnerability assessments, flow monitoring, and emergency tracking. Initiatives will include:
- Providing the crisis response community with a comprehensive picture on the number, profile and needs of conflict-affected populations;
- Continuing to produce and share maps and profiles of IDP sites;
- Expanding the use of IOM's Emergency Tracking Tool (ETT) to rapidly collect information on demographic data of the displaced population, areas of origin, locations where they take refuge and humanitarian assistance required following the alert of new displacement;
- Continuing engaging DTM to support preparedness and response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), COVID-19, cholera and other emerging epidemics. This includes the assessment at village level on the availability of health facilities, COVID-19 awareness and infection within the surveyed communities;
- Continuing implementing flow monitoring activities to monitor the movement of populations crossing international borders and travelling across major mobility routes where POC might be established in the case of epidemic.
IOM DRC will continue providing COVID-19 related services according to the country Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UNCT. These initiatives will include:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.