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Conflict is the main driver of hunger in Congo

map of the DRC map of the DRC Photo by PeterHermesFurian on iStock

22 May 2021

Congo is home to an increasing number of people suffering from hunger due to spreading conflicts

 The number of people affected by acute food insecurity in DRC is continuously growing. It is estimated that, according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) report,  27.3 million persons, or one in three inhabitants, is now suffering at a critical level from hunger. The situation of about seven million people has reached  the “emergency” level, the last level before famine, according to analysis by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). This makes the DRC the country, with the highest number of persons  in urgent need for  food security assistance in the world.

The main cause is the escalation of the conflict. Militia violence was prevailing  in the DRC for decades, particularly in the eastern borderlands with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, despite the civil war having been officially declared as finished in 2003. The growing social and political instability is hindering civilians’ food security and is  preventing them building up resilience. Indeed, families have had to sell valuable assets to buy food; many are left with no choice but to skip meals, sometimes for an entire day. Moreover, the DRC’s 5 million displaced people, estimated by the World Food Programme’s report,  live in crowded settlements or are crammed in with host families in urban areas with poor sanitation and healthcare and are scrambling to put food on their table.

As a reaction to the crisis, the UN’s World Food Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) started a joint community resilience project to restore peace and cohesion in these villages. The program consists of the establishment of village peace committees, to create  a culture aimed at conflict resolution that addresses root causes and tensions and fosters tolerance, resilience and production. These organizations  are now supporting 103,500 families in the DRC's Tanganyika, North and South Kivu and North and South Ubangi provinces.

 

 

To learn more, visit:

https://www.wfp.org/stories/food-peace-wfp-and-fao-work-end-conflict-and-hunger-drc

https://www.wfp.org/stories/conflict-and-hunger-looking-back-looking-forward

https://www.wfp.org/news/scale-acute-hunger-democratic-republic-congo-staggering-fao-wfp-warn#:~:text=The%20number%20of%20people%20affected,Phase%20Classification%20(IPC)%20analysis.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/4/6/conflict-and-covid-driving-record-hunger-in-dr-congo-warns-un

 

Author: Jasmina Saric

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