The Facts: (Thanks to the BBC for this profile)
A vast country with immense economic resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has been at the center of what could be termed Africa’s world war.
This has left it in the grip of a humanitarian crisis.
The five-year conflict pitted government forces, supported by Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe, against rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda. Despite a peace deal and the formation of a transitional government in 2003, the threat of civil war has re-emerged in the east of the country.
DR Congo is striving to recover from a five-year war; millions died, mostly through starvation, disease
Former rebels joined a power-sharing government
Eastern regions are still plagued by militia violence
DR Congo hosts the UN’s largest peacekeeping mission
* Full name: Democratic Republic of the Congo
* Population: 64.7 million (UN, 2008)
* Capital: Kinshasa
* Area: 2.34 million sq km (905,354 sq miles)
* Major languages: French, Lingala, Kiswahili, Kikongo, Tshiluba
* Major religions: Christianity, Islam
* Life expectancy: 45 years (men), 48 years (women) (UN)
* Monetary unit: 1 Congolese franc = 100 centimes
* Main exports: Diamonds, copper, coffee, cobalt, crude oil
* GNI per capita: US $140 (World Bank, 2007)
Possible Mission Trip Activities:
Children and youth outreaches
Microloans/small business development–poverty reduction program
Views of Life in DRC