Although it is the second largest country in Africa in terms of area, the DR Congo has few paved roads, and the water supply and power supply are poor. Many parts of the country only have a basic level of health care and education thanks to the work done by church organisations, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. The majority of the Congolese people live in extreme poverty, and nearly one in ten children dies before reaching the age of five.
According to figures published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), almost 13 million of the DR Congo's roughly 84 million inhabitants are dependent on humanitarian aid (as at August 2019). The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, has found that roughly 1.4 million children are severely undernourished.
It is difficult to judge the real extent of the crisis since there is a lack of reliable data. That is why, for example, the country is not listed in the 2018 World Hunger Index drawn up by the aid organisations Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide.