In 2014, the population of DRC was estimated to be 77.5 million of which 65 percent are children and youth under 24 years old. According to the United Nations Development Programme’s 2014 Human Development Index, the DRC ranked 186 out of 187 countries. Approximately 87.7 percent of the Congolese are living on less than US$1.25 per day and the financial crisis as well as the food crisis have aggravated the situation. Impoverishment, violence, lack of good governance, human rights abuses and large-scale displacements have caused untold suffering and a deep deterioration of the social fabric, overburdening or breaking up families and traditional social safety nets.
The 2007, United Nations report named the Eastern DRC the rape capital of the world concluding that of the reported cases, an average of 48 women and girl child are raped every hour. A study, in the American Journal of Public Health, found that more than 400,000 females aged 15-49 were raped over a 12-month period in 2006 and 2007. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative has confirmed that even these much higher figures still represent a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of sexual violence because of chronic under reporting due to stigma, shame, perceived impunity, and exclusion of younger and older age groups as well as men. The stigma, trauma, torture and stress of the victims in the DRC have emerged as one of the greatest human crisis of our time. Despite all these challenges there is lack of programs, adequate skills and will to address the needs of the victims. To respond to some needs of the victims, since 2003, ECAAIR has implemented numerous programs and has supported thousands of people.
ECAAIR DRC administered 3 main programs and offers activities that support and promote health, peace and human rights for our clients. The three main programs are: (I) “Stand UP” Program famously known in French as “Levez-Vous”, (II) Peace and Human Rights Education; and (III) Health Education.