The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa and the 4th most populous country in Africa (81 million).
The main development challenges are the lack of capacity of the government and the extreme fragility of the political environment and of Congolese institutions. The vast size of the country coupled with a lack of reliable communication (absence of road infrastructure, unreliable means of transport) makes access to most of the country extremely difficult.
The EU’s strategic objectives are in line with the national development strategies of the DRC and include:
- Strengthening DRC's democratic processes and promoting respect for human rights.
- Contribute to peace and stability in the region.
- Fight poverty by supporting inclusive growth that would benefit the most vulnerable while preserving the country's natural resources.
The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programme (NIP) allocated €620 million for the 2014-2020 funding period. The focal sectors are:
- Health sector – aiming to support the government in developing a quality, financially efficient health system easily accessible to all.
- Environment and sustainable agriculture – the EU’s programme will cover conservation needs and socio-economic development with actions in sustainable agriculture and access to electricity.
- Governance and the rule of law – aiming to strengthen policy reforms in the areas of police, justice and defence.
- Transport – construction of 150km of national road 1 contributing to the completion of the most important transportation axis of the country.