The Socioeconomic Status of IDPs, Returnees and Host Communities in the Democratic Republic Of Congo


Conflict accounts for nearly ninety percent of displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – the second largest number in the world. An estimated 5.27 million Congolese are internally displaced, about 6%of the country’s population. The majority of these people take refuge with local families and thousands of refugees in neighboring countries return home every year. Data on displaced populations is needed so that both UNHCR and the World Bank can better target their programs.

In 2016, the death of a traditional leader, Kamuina Nsapu, sparked a large violent conflict that spread across the Kasia region which lies on the border of Angola. Violence continued until 2019, causing the displacement of an estimated 1.4 million people. While many people have returned home, hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced. In 2020, attacks and counterattacks displaced more than 40,000 people.

Around 40% of the population in the Kasai provinces are estimated to face acute food insecurity. Access to basic services (health, education, water and sanitation) is limited and economic conditions are also dire, with high levels of unemployment. As of 2020, UNOCHA estimates that about 4 million people in the area need humanitarian assistance. For almost 1.5 million people, the situation is “critical”. Due to the conflict, mental health, especially that of displaced populations, is a major concern.

Refugees are expected to return from Angola as UNHCR Angola is actively supporting voluntary repatriation. In September 2021,12,275 people returned to Kamalo and settled in communities that already host internally displaced people (IDPs) and repatriated refugees, adding pressure on host communities.


The proposed study will focus on IDPs and returned refugees who do not live-incamps but are hosted by communities and will be conducted over four phases. The first phase will be the preparation of the survey, the second, data collection and the final phases data analysis and dissemination.


L’Institut National de la Statistique(INS) will conduct the data collection. An external team of international researchers, with experience in forced displacement and data collection in the DRC, has been mobilized to support this study. Extensive consultation is being conducted with development partners and humanitarian actors in the DRC.



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