Nowhere in the world do more people need food aid, according to a new study by two UN agencies.
More than 27 million people in the DRC – a third of the population – are affected by what agencies call “high acute food insecurity”. This represents 13 million in 2018.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP) analysis finds seven million people now struggling to survive “emergency levels” of food insecurity .
This means that they depend on aid for more than half of their food needs.
WFP says it is already providing vital food assistance to 8.7 million people in DRC.
“For the first time, we were able to analyze the vast majority of the population, which helped us get closer to the true picture of the staggering extent of food insecurity in the DRC,” says Peter Musoko, WFP representative in the DRC. .
Shortage due to conflict
Conflict is a key factor in this food insecurity in DRC, particularly in the east of the country and in the central Kasais region.
Aristide Ongone Obame, the FAO representative in the country, says that “the recurring conflicts in eastern DRC and the suffering they cause remain very worrying.”
There are more than 40 armed groups in the DRC. Insecurity is particularly high in parts of North Kivu province where a group calling itself the Allied Democratic Forces – which is affiliated with the Islamic State – launches frequent attacks on villages. Part of the province is experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of diseases such as measles have worsened the plight of the Congolese.
Earlier this month, the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières reported more than 13,000 cases of measles since the start of the year.
The pandemic has also affected the DRC economy and the government has cut its 2021 budget by 38%.
Faced with these challenges, humanitarian agencies try to provide emergency aid and longer-term aid.
FAO says its priority this year is to improve farmers’ access to tools and seeds; provide livestock and better crop storage and help control animal and plant diseases.