International Medical Corps’ team in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is preparing to respond if violence breaks out following the presidential elections. The country’s electoral commission has confirmed President Joseph Kabila as the winner. Local authorities indicate the election’s outcome could result in hostilities, most likely in or around the capital of Kinshasa in western DRC. There are fears that armed conflict could spread throughout the country.
International Medical Corps has prepared to deploy an Emergency Response Team to deliver emergency health services in Kinshasa and other parts of DRC in the event of an outbreak of violence. The organization has worked in DRC since 1999 to provide health care and training services, nutrition, food security, sexual and gender-based violence prevention and treatment, and water/sanitation services. In September 2010, International Medical Corps deployed an Emergency Response Team to eastern DRC in the wake of an incident of mass sexual violence perpetrated by armed groups on some 250 women in the remote village of Luvungi. The team provided medical and psychosocial care for survivors and transferred severe cases to local health centers.
International Medical Corps supports 67 health facilities in the DRC, including in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Maniema provinces. In total, the organization has served more than two million people in DRC, 80 percent of them displaced by war.