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. The only reason many parts of the country have a basic level of health care and education is thanks to the work done by faith-based organisations, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. It is difficult to judge the real extent of the crisis since there is a lack of reliable statistical data.
A large proportion of the Congolese people live in extreme poverty, and roughly one in twelve children dies before reaching the age of five.
According to figures published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), almost 20 million of the DR Congo’s roughly 90 million inhabitants are dependent on humanitarian aid (as at October 2021). The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has found that roughly six million children are chronically malnourished. The 2021 Global Hunger Index (External link) describes the situation in the country as "alarming".