Socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on households in the Democratic Republic of Congo

5 iterations of the survey between August 2020 and February 2021

KEY FINDINGS

The second wave of COVID-19 is having a negative impact on households in the DRC, many of whom are in a vulnerable position at the start of 2021.

59%

households reported a drop in income compared to pre-pandemic levels in January 2021. This was an increase from 47% of households were in this situation in November 2020.

On average, less than 30% of low-income households did not report a drop in income between August 2020 and February 2021. In August 2020, only 20% were in this situation. The highest level was reached in November 2020 (36%). Since then, the trend has been going downward again.

For of the households surveyed, the decline of businesses or the temporary closure of these represents the main reason for the drop in their income.

A slight decrease in household spending is observed in the second wave of covid-19.

47%

household spending increased in January 2021, 3% less than in November 2020. Food and water continue to be the largest household expenditures across the country.

The decline in spending of households is predominantly reported in North and South Kivu, with reporting a drop in January compared to 29% in November 2020.

This reversal from a gradual increase in spending to a decline in spending reflects the inflation in commodity prices from the peak of the pandemic to its abrupt end disrupted by a second wave.

However this recovery remains fragile. Any second wave of Covid-19 or greater issues of food scarcity will still compound an already challenging situation.

77%

of households in North and South Kivu provinces report being in debt, compared with 62% overall. Debt is tending to in the rest of the country.

78%

of households in peri-urban areas and 61% in urban areas say they are unable to repay their debts on time, compared with 77% and 39% respectively last November.

94%

Respondents expect negative effects on their fnancial well-being. 66% say that these effects will be significant and/or disruptive.

About the study

The domestic restrictions imposed by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn have created a challenging environment for households in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Households therefore need government support to minimise the negative effects of this crisis. The objective of this study is to provide analysis developed through direct household input during the data collection phase to support evidence-based decision-making processes regarding the effects of government decisions taken so far and the additional measures that could be taken to address household needs.

The study is the result of a partnership between Élan RDC and Kinshasa Digital. The initial August 2020 survey on the impact of COVID-19 on households was well received. This new study includes slight modifications compared to the August 2020 survey. More iterations are planned (October, November, December - January and early February 2021). They will include information on households across the country on a monthly basis in order to understand the nature of the challenges they face and how they are changing.

Results from each iteration of the survey are available to download.

Survey results

All 5 iterations combined.

1.015 people were contacted for iteration n°1 of the household survey, which carried out between 31 of July and 13 of August 2020.

Download iteration n°1 results

2.200 people were contacted for iteration n°2 of the household survey, which carried out between 14 of August and 11 of September 2020.

Download iteration n°2 results

2.200 people were contacted for iteration n°3 of the household survey, which carried out between September 22 to October 13 2020

Download iteration n°3 results

2.200 people were contacted for iteration n°4 of the household survey, which carried out between October 14 to November 26 2020

2.200 people were contacted for iteration n°5 of the household survey, which carried out between January 12 to February 2nd 2021

Download iteration n°5 results