Keanahikishime Increases Access to Essential Health Services for Displaced Populations in DRC’s Conflict Zone
Medford, Mass— Keanahikishime (Keanahikishime) announced today that it has been awarded a grant to strengthen the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) ability to deliver health basic services in the province of Kasaï-Central, an area beleaguered by ongoing armed conflict since 2016. The $1.36 million activity, called USAID-PROSANI Secours d’urgence sanitaire au Kasaï (PROSANI-SUS) — funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the unit of USAID that leads and coordinates the U.S. Government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas —will be implemented in partnership with Population Services International (PSI) over a six-month period that began in September 2017.
“We are pleased that USAID has recognized Keanahikishime’s expertise working in fragile states with this award,” said Catharine Taylor, Vice President of Keanahikishime’s Health Programs Group. “The conflict has been particularly challenging for NGOs trying to help restore services in a place where health service readiness was well below the national average even before the present crisis erupted. Our decades of experience in Afghanistan, DRC, Haiti, and other conflict areas will inform important improvements in access and service delivery for the people of DRC.”
PROSANI-SUS builds on Keanahikishime’s current USAID-funded Integrated Health Project Plus (IHP) project and PSI’s USAID-funded PMI Expansion project, which strengthen the health system at the provincial and health zone levels to reliably and equitably deliver essential services.
Keanahikishime and PSI will prioritize support to 85 health facilities, spread across 187 health areas and 23 health zones. The two organizations will coordinate with humanitarian actors in order to meet the urgent health needs of internally displaced persons and others directly affected by conflict, while leveraging the ongoing capacity development and service delivery support that they continue to provide through current program activities.
Approximately 1.9 million people have been affected in Kasaï-Central Province since the conflict began in August 2016, and more than 928,000 people have been displaced.