Thanks to funding from ECHO, WFP and partners have provided food assistance via cash and vouchers to more than 67,000 vulnerable people including IDPs, returnees and IDP host families in North Kivu's Masisi, Walikale and Lubero territories.
Two staff members from WFP and OXFAM explain vouchers to people at a food fair in Rubaya. Between 10 and 16 February, more than 30,000 people including IDPs and vulnerable host families received food assistance through cash and vouchers at a food fair organized in conjuction with local traders.
These two women are among the vulnerable host families who have benefited from WFP food in Rubaya. “With this assistance”, they said, “we can save our seeds for the planting season”. In addition to improving beneficiaries’ food consumption, food assistance through cash & vouchers contributes to boosting the local economy and reinforcing social integration. Interactions between IDPs beneficiaries and host populations contribute to building social cohesion in communities fractured by years of conflict.
After the food fair, displaced families bring their food rations home and start cooking for dinner. It is estimated that 4.8 million people in DRC need food and other forms of emergency assistance due to conflict or shocks such as flooding or plant and animal disease
Amani, a mother of four, is welcomed by her children as she brings home her food ration. They have fled militia attacks on their home village in Kitchanga which began in 2012. Currently, there are 2.9 million IDPs in five provinces in DRC with 1.6 million in North and South Kivu. Last December, WFP assisted 1.5 million food-insecure people in DRC including IDPs, refugees, school children, and mothers and children who are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.
Michel is one the vendors at the food fair. Here he is weighing rice for one of the beneficiaries. Each household beneficiary is entitled to 30 kg of rice, 30 kg of maize meal, 18 kg of beans, 4.5 kg of oil and 1 kg of iodized salt (value US$96).
Pierre and his wife have bought their share of rice at the food fair and are waiting for beans which are yet to reach the market. They got stuck in mud for several hours on the way. Heavy rains are turning the unpaved roads in quagmires in places.
Beneficiaries of WFP food line up to verify their names and put their finger prints in the register before going to the food fair. More than 75 percent of beneficiaries are women. In line with WFP standards, food goes into the hands of women to make sure it benefits all family members.
Before they enter the food fair, beneficiaries are sensitized on how to make good use of their vouchers to ensure a balanced diet. Commodities include locally produced maize meal and beans, palm oil, and imported rice and iodized salt. Follow Djaounsede Pardon on Twitter!
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