The Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in natural resources. Yet there is considerable poverty in the society. Moreover, bad governance and strife have rendered the social and political situation highly unstable. The crime rate is high and violence against women is rife. Conflicts over land and resources lead repeatedly to violence and ethnic tensions. HEKS/EPER plays a part in conflict prevention and resolution and assists peasant families in securing their right to own land and in boosting agricultural output. HEKS/EPER also supports peasant families and cooperatives in marketing their produce.
For over 20 years now, economic and social progress has been hampered by armed strife in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The poor security situation has led to a severe and protracted humanitarian crisis. Displacements and the destruction of property and infrastructure have left the majority of the 89 million Congolese living in precarious conditions. Refugee movements and violence have also destroyed social networks. In the especially hard-hit province of North Kivu, HEKS/EPER has mounted a massive emergency aid programme in areas that are hard to reach.
The eastern Congo is still marked by poverty and armed conflicts. In 2020 HEKS/EPER assisted some 600 000 badly affected people in remote areas by providing agricultural equipment, seeds, cash programmes and help in the building of sanitary facilities. HEKS/EPER also cooperated with 800 residents to secure 209 hectares of land, provided continuing education and training in land law issues for 9500 people and promoted agro-ecological production and market access for 3260 farming families.