Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo, like many countries in Africa, has experienced years of conflict resulting in large numbers of displaced or transient persons and refugees. Living in a crisis setting or being forced to leave one's home exposes women and girls to limited access to health care, minimal or nonexistent community and family support, and greater vulnerability to sexual violence and exploitation, all of which can have a negative impact on reproductive health.

From 2009-2011 in South Kivu, there were 22,878 reported cases of sexual and gender based violence. 99.6 percent of the survivors were women.

While significant progress has been made in raising awareness about reproductive health needs in emergency settings, there is still a need in DRC for multiple models of service delivery that address the evolving needs for reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence services at different stages of crises.

Pathfinder began working in eastern DRC in 2008 to identify flexible approaches and models for delivering reproductive health, family planning, and gender-based violence services in different phases of crises, with the goal of integrating the models into National Emergency Response Procedures. Pathfinder's work aims to reach internally displaced persons, refugees, and populations living in transition using a number of approaches and strategies, including:

  • Community outreach for issues ranging from contraceptive distribution to behavior change;
  • Advocacy aimed at addressing sexual and gender-based violence; and,
  • Facility renovation to permit the upgrading of service.

Pathfinder approaches these strategies holistically, involving the community throughout implementation, supporting community supervision, and partnering with the government in order to create sustainable solutions for the future.


In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we work to strengthen systems by aiming advocacy at sexual and gender-based violence as well as improved reproductive health care. Your gift of $25 or $50 is critical to ensuring our work can continue.

Our Projects

Access to Primary Healthcare Project

Access to Primary Health Care Project

Contraception & Family Planning

Pathfinder works to improve primary healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting reproductive, maternal, and neonatal health services.

E2A - Evidence to Action thumbnail

Evidence to Action for Strengthened Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services for Women and Girls (E2A)

Burundi, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda
Systems Strengthening Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Gender Behavior Change Contraception & Family Planning

The Evidence to Action Project (E2A) is USAID’s global flagship for strengthening family planning and reproductive health service delivery.

Related Publications

June 2011

Maman Lumières: Empowering Mothers for Improved Health

This descriptive project document discusses a component of Pathfinder Burundi's Positive Deviance Hearth Project, the "Maman Lumière" initiative.

Related News

Pathfinder International Celebrates New Commitments to Family Planning

Photo of family planning services in Burundi
At this week's International Conference on Family Planning, the global health community celebrates progress toward the FP2020 commitments made at the London Summit on Family Planning and the announcement of five new national family planning commitments.

Linking Conservation And Development To Save Africa’s Largest Lake

In Western Tanzania, Pathfinder and the Nature Conservancy have teamed up to tackle issues in health and environment simultaneously with a project that recognizes the unique relationship of a population and their ecosystem.

This year, the Nature Conservancy is working with Pathfinder International in Western Tanzania to prove that protecting the health of individuals and their natural resources (food, water, soil) will improve their livelihoods significantly as opposed to only treating one issue.

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