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Democratic Republic of the Congo - Orphans

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In UNICEF's new report, 'Child Alert: Democratic Republic of Congo' – written by UNICEF UK Ambassador and former BBC war correspondent Martin Bell – children are at the heart of the human tragedy that has unfolded in DRC. Since conflict began there in 1998, nearly 4 million people have been killed by war or disease, or have simply disappeared without a trace

Every six months, the death toll in DRC rivals the total deaths caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Simply stated, this is currently the world's deadliest humanitarian crisis, and children bear its greatest burden.

Primary school education in the Democratic Republic of Congo is neither compulsory, free nor universal, and many children are not able to go to school because parents were unable to pay the enrollment fees. Parents are customarily expected to pay teachers' salaries. In 1998, the most recent year for which data are available, the gross primary enrollment rate was 50 percent.


Gross enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and therefore do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. In 2000, 65 percent of children ages 10 to 14 years were attending school. As a result of the 6-year civil war, over 5.2 million children in the country receive no education

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