According to a recent UN report kidnappings and general insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are worsening. The UN says solving the problems constitute a "herculean task," especially in North Kivu Province.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has faced two wars involving many countries and groups. These were the deadliest wars since World War II and took place between 1996-2003. In total over 6 million people died as a result of conflict (including deaths from disease and starvation) and the mineral-rich country's economy and social structure was destroyed, which has affected the whole African Great Lakes region.
In particular the eastern regions of DR Congo, Goma and Kivu, have been suffering from a deadly civil war between many armed groups and the Congolese government.
Even though the Congolose government and UN forces occasionally collaborate in order to defeat foreign-backed insurrections, smaller armed groups and criminal gangs still proliferate.
"Kidnappings of aid workers and civilians and attacks on convoys have increased, often forcing organizations to delay the delivery of aid and other essential operations or suspend activities entirely," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.
Congo, which is ranked 176 out 188 countries on the UN Human Development Index, is heavily dependent on aid from non-governmental organisations and UN agencies. OCHA estimates that 7.5 million Congolese will require humanitarian assistance this year.
Recently, the United Nations announced that 7.5 million people - 9 percent of the DR Congo's population - need humanitarian aid including basic necessities such as food due to the decades-long instability in the country.