Human Development Index ranking (2013): 186/187 countries
Life expectancy at birth: 48.7 years
Country profile HDI (UNDP): http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/COD
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is Belgian Development Cooperation’s most important partner country and the largest country in Central Africa. Despite its huge range of natural resources, the DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world and suffers serious social inequalities.
Bilateral development cooperation between Belgium and the DRC was restarted in 2000 following a nine-year hiatus. Belgium is active in various sectors in the DRC, including agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare, institutional support, good governance, social development and education.
Late 2009, a new Indicative Cooperation Programme was organised for 2010-2013. The budget for the period was raised to €75 million per year. As of 2010, the programme is focusing on three sectors: agriculture, rural development and technical and vocational education. Transversal topics include gender equality, respect for the rights of the child, good governance, sustainable development and the fight against HIV.
About 80% of Congolese live in a rural environment. Agriculture is the biggest economic sector and contributes 56% to GDP. Belgium supports agricultural development in the DRC, working at two levels in particular: firstly, it helps to provide high-quality agricultural seed, and secondly, it contributes to opening up production zones by repairing rural roads and river ferries. This facilitates the transportation of products to consumption centres and boosts production, trade and small-scale rural industry.
Development Cooperation also supports the vocational training of young people. Indeed, the reconstruction and sustainable development of the country depend on the availability of skilled labour and technicians.
To achieve these development objectives, Belgian Development Cooperation, along with other donors such as the European Union and the World Bank, participates in multilateral programmes in the health, education, environment, humanitarian aid and governance sectors.
- Indicative Cooperation Programme 2010-2013 (PDF, 3.21 MB)
- Belgian Official Development Assistance (ODA) (PDF, 23.61 KB)