27.3 million people are acutely food insecure in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This figure is contained in a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
The UN agencies paint a bleak picture of food security, explaining that « one in three people, including nearly seven million people, are facing emergency levels of acute hunger, according to the latest integrated phase classification, » the report says.
Armed conflict among causes
For his part, Peter Musoko, WFP representative in the DRC, believes that the country should « be able to feed its population and export a surplus », while the reality on the ground leaves much to be desired. The figures published in this report expose the failings of the Congolese economic system, which has been weakened by repeated armed conflicts and the Coronavirus pandemic. « Social and political stability is essential to strengthen food security and build the resilience of vulnerable people, » said Aristide Ongone, FAO Representative in DRC.
In many parts of the country, armed conflict has forced people to move. « Parents deprived of access to their land or forced to flee for their lives, watching their children fall ill for lack of food, » the report notes, citing armed conflicts in Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika provinces in the east as major causes of the food crisis. The recurrent conflicts in eastern DRC and the suffering they cause remain of great concern, » said Ongone.
In addition, in the report, the two agencies warn the international community about the magnitude of the food crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying that the situation merits « urgent intervention to scale up support to the Congolese people in the crisis areas ».