Was wir tun HEKS
Christian Bobst
What we do

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HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Access to land and resources» in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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. Land conflicts lead repeatedly to violence and ethnic tensions. HEKS/EPER is playing a part in conflict prevention and resolution and assists farming families in securing their right to own land and in boosting agricultural output.

Armed conflict has been raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for over 20 years now. 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 under the direst of conditions. Refugee movements and violence have also destroyed social networks. HEKS/EPER is providing emergency aid in the especially hard-hit province of North Kivu.

HEKS/EPER in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Facts

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.

Rural communities need unimpeded access to natural resources such as land, water, pastures, savannahs or forests if they are to develop. The possibility to use these resources is critical to fighting hunger and poverty. Agriculture is, after all, the most important source of income for many rural communities. With crop farming, small plantations, livestock rearing, fishing or gathering they can secure their food supply and generate income by selling their produce. Land also serves communities as living space and reinforces cultural and spiritual identity. Many rural communities still lack access to land or risk losing it despite existing or traditional law. HEKS/EPER therefore helps them, through numerous projects, to secure long-term access to land and resources, both practically and legally.