The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the third-largest country in Africa, with a population estimated in recent years to be at least 55.9 million (World Bank, 2004). By one estimate, the population under 15 years of age is soon expected to rise to almost half of the total population (Ministry of Planning, 2004). The national population is estimated to be 53.5 percent urban and 46.5 percent rural (UNDP, 2003). With a per capita income of USD 0.20 per day, 80 percent of Congolese live in poverty, and the country is classed among the poorest countries in the world (Ministry of Planning, 2004).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is having a hard time meeting Millennium Development Goals such as reducing extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality, and strengthening the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. Progress has been made in health and education, but few Millennium Development Goals will be reached.
The typology of slums in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reveals different levels of vulnerability. Vulnerable districts have houses built recently, generally by their occupants. These are mostly illegal (without property title) and many have extensions. They generally exist in unplanned peripheral zones and do not have adequate social infrastructure, public roads, or drainage. Highly vulnerable districts, meanwhile, are old districts that had been planned. The houses are dilapidated, while existent sewer systems and other basic services are saturated and not maintained.
Phase 1: Urban Profiling – completed
Phase 2: Action Planning and Programme Document Formulation – completed
Phase 3: Project Implementation – evaluation