Don't Forget About The DRC

Published on 04 December 2013
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, ongoing conflict has triggered vast food insecurity. Copyright: WFP/David Orr
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there’s a food crisis with multiple layers. Ongoing violence has forced millions of people from their homes. Altogether, about 6.3 million food-insecure people live here, and half of the children under five are chronically malnourished.

For WFP, there is another layer to this crisis. A shortage of funds, and therefore of food, means WFP must cut food rations for displaced people in the hard-hit eastern part on the country.

Why does this matter? There are people here who don’t have access to food, and WFP is their lifeline. Take Faida. She, along with her eight children, has been living on half rations of WFP food for the past six months. Her family is living in Mugungu 1 camp in eastern DRC’s North Kivu province since they were forced to flee their village in 2011. Though the lead rebel group, M23, was defeated and surrendered in early November to the Congolese government, a peace agreement has yet to be signed.

Faida’s story is like many in this country. According to the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs, there are about 2.7 million internally displaced people in the DRC. As of September, nearly 600,000 of these rely totally on food assistance. WFP is providing assistance to about 1.9 million people in the DRC and aims to assist 4.2 million people over the next two and a half years.

Other stories of violence within camps, like that of Muhami, whose 2-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted in the Mugungu 1, show another layer of instability here. Tragedies like this show the importance of humanitarian assistance here.

As a student, there’s always a lot you can do to help WFP highlight important issues like this. Check out the DRC country page to learn more about the situation here. Share some of these stories and facts on your social media accounts.

Is your teacher holding class discussions on hunger? Bring the DRC to his/her attention. Perhaps you could make a presentation to your class about the country and its food crisis. Share pictures like this gallery from a food distribution point for added emphasis.

For more ideas on how to help WFP raise awareness and money for situations like this one in the DRC, check out our Schools in Action pack and our University Pack. These include easy ways to help WFP raise money, like Hunger IQ Quizzes, and fun ideas for raising awareness, like writing a piece for your school newspaper.

Share your story with WFP’s Youth Outreach team at wfp.youth@wfp.org and explain how you’re raising awareness about the DRC. You could be featured on this blog!

 

(Middle left, Photo copyright: WFP/Claude Kalinga)

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