GPC Operations Cell: gpc[at]unhcr.org
Gender-Based Violence: chase[at]unfpa.org
Child Protection: rpouwels[at]unicef.org
Housing, Land and Property: jim.robinson[at]nrc.no
Mine Action: unmasgeneva[at]un.org
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains one of the most complex and protracted humanitarian crises in the world. The persistence of armed and intercommunity conflicts has taken a heavy human toll in the country, particularly in the East. Of the more than 5.7 million displaced persons in the DRC, more than 80% of the displacement is due to armed attacks and clashes, 97% of which took place in the eastern provinces of the country. At the socio-economic level, despite the significant rising growth and public policy efforts, the majority of the Congolese population continues to face poverty, high unemployment, especially among youth, and limited access to basic services and infrastructure, which increases humanitarian needs. Approximately one quarter of the country's population is estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance. Women, girls and children are the primary victims of humanitarian crises and human rights abuses.
In the DRC, armed and inter-community conflicts at the root of massive population displacements o are mainly based on access to land and natural resources, identity-based mobilizations, and tensions over access to or the exercise of political or customary power. The abundance of natural resources, porous borders, and the proliferation of small arms have contributed to the increase of armed groups. The absence of government services in some areas and the persistence of impunity are other factors that have contributed to the development of conflicts in the country. These factors have led to increased protection risks and human rights violations faced by communities throughout the country. Major protection risks include gender-based violence, grave violations of children's rights, violations of the right to property, the right to liberty, and the right to life and physical integrity, particularly due to the presence of mines and other explosive remnants of war.
The Protection Cluster in Democratic Republic of Congo was activated in 2006 to ensure the coordination of protection interventions in emergencies and to respond to the protection needs of persons affected by conflict and disasters. It is composed of the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Area of Responsibility (AoR), the Child Protection (CP) Area of Responsibility (AoR), the Mine Action (MA) Area of Responsibility (AoR) and a Housing, Land, and Property (HLP) Area of Responsibility (HLP AoR). The Protection Cluster is led by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and co-coordinated by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).