Japan Supports UN Migration Agency Assistance to Returnees, Displaced in DRC

Internally displaced Congolese live in extremely harsh conditions in the Magloire collective centre, Tanganyika. © IOM

Kasai – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has received USD 900,000 of funding from the Government of Japan to assist 200,000 returnees, displaced people and members of host communities affected by the crisis in Kasai, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Since conflict erupted in August 2016 in the Kasai central province, a complex humanitarian crisis has emerged and rapidly spread throughout the region. As a consequence of the conflict, the Greater Kasai region now hosts an estimated 1.4 million of the country’s 4.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Some individuals also fled from the violence to neighbouring Angola.

With a gradual stabilization of the security situation, people started to return home in 2017, particularly in Central Kasai – nearly 700,000 people have returned to date. However, security incidents and inter-community tensions persist, causing new displacements.

Poor sanitation, a lack of access to basic health services and poor hygiene conditions have led to outbreaks of cholera and made children more vulnerable to malnourishment. Global Acute Malnutrition rates in children under five years old have reached 14 per cent, well above the ten per cent emergency threshold. Some 300,000 children are malnourished and at risk of dying.

IOM has partnered with the humanitarian community to conduct data tracking activities and multi-sectoral assessments in the Greater Kasai region, to provide humanitarian partners with reliable information and data for planning and implementing necessary assistance.

Based on the identified needs, the new Japan-funded project will be implemented at a key border community in Kamako, where more than 200 people cross the border every day on the way back from Angola. IOM’s interventions will focus on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); the provision of primary healthcare and non-food items; and community sensitization and protection, with a particular focus on gender-based violence.

Moreover, IOM will also introduce a Japanese water purification technology in partnership with Nippon Poly-Glu Co., seeking social business opportunities to strengthen community resilience and durable solutions in the crisis affected areas.

“With this innovative, cost effective and environmentally friendly technology from Poly-Glu, IOM will treat a large amount of turbid riverine water in a short time and provide an adequate amount of safe water daily to serve 10,000 people in Kamonia [territory],” said IOM DRC Migration Health Programme Coordinator Aki Yoshino.

“This funding contribution from Japan will help IOM to scale up its humanitarian operation in Kasai, and provide direct assistance to the most vulnerable populations along the border space,” said IOM DRC Chief of Mission Jean-Philippe Chauzy.

The humanitarian situation in the DRC has deteriorated dramatically over the past year. In December 2017, IOM launched an appeal for USD 75 million to urgently meet the growing needs of displaced people and the communities hosting them across the country.

The IOM Humanitarian Appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is available online at

For more information, please contact Aki Yoshino, Tel: +243810325533, Email: