A total of 63% of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) live in poverty and below the poverty line, the United Nations (UN) revealed last week.
UN top official Genevieve Delonois said in Kinshasa that despite the country’s constant economic growth that has been occuring in the past few years, many people were still struggling to survive as the benefits of this growth were not reaching the people on the ground.
It remains unclear why the benefits of that growth were not reaching ordinary citizens.
But many observers believe that it could be the case of the political and business elite sharing the nation’s wealth among themselves, and not caring about the rest of the population.
Rural poverty is said to be worse than urban poverty, as rural communities seem to have been ‘forgotten’ by the central government.
Furthermore, Delonois said the country’s challenge was huge not only due to the high number of people living in poverty, but also for the maternal and infant mortality rate which remains high.
The DRC is one of the worst places in the world for pregnant mothers to give birth, Save the Children said in its State of the World’s Mothers 2013 report.
Mineral-rich DRC boasts more than half of the world’s reserves of cobalt and two-thirds of global reserves of coltan.
Coltan is the mineral used to manufacture cellphones, computers and other electrical appliances.
Photo: Per-Anders Pettersson