High-profile issues of humanitarian response, state-building and peace-building are at the top of the agenda of donors and aid agencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Less attention has been paid to the potential for social protection interventions to address the chronic vulnerability facing most Congolese. For children, the experience of risk, vulnerability and deprivation is shaped by the particular characteristics of childhood poverty and vulnerability.
This study carried out a diagnostic of the current social protection environment in DRC and produced evidence of the vulnerabilities and risks facing children living in poverty in Kinshasa, Bas Congo and Katanga provinces. The objective was to inform the development of child-sensitive social protection approaches to be undertaken by the government as well as the UN, donor agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Poverty and vulnerability are widespread and multidimensional in DRC, with particular vulnerabilities facing women and children. Geographic and gender disparities are prominent.
Income poverty emerged as the key factor of vulnerability and was also the consequence of many other risk factors.
There are multiple strategies, policies and laws pertaining to social protection, but no overarching strategy for social protection has been adopted by the government. There are numerous challenges to implementing social protection.
Some of the most salient child-sensitive social protection interventions are education, community programmes, income support for children, income generation for youth, health interventions, support for good nutrition, assistance to vulnerable children and community based social protection.