Conflict and hunger fuel one another in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Insecurity spread across several provinces is the main driver to population displacements, which often leads to hunger. Food insecurity continues to grow in DRC with 21.8 million people acutely food insecure. An estimated 5 million children are acutely malnourished. DRC is now the second largest hunger crisis in the world after Yemen and is a corporate emergency for WFP.
In addition to addressing this hunger crisis, WFP offers support to the Government of DRC in fighting the second largest and deadliest Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak globally, that was declared in August 2018. It has claimed thousands of lives in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Fatal security incidents and community resistance to Ebola response remain among the key hurdles to ending the outbreak.
What the WFP is doing to respond to the emergency in the DRC
WFP helps reduce the propagation of the Ebola virus by providing food to patients and potentially affected people. It also provides crucial logistical services including trucks and planes, which enable responders to reach new or remote outbreak areas quickly. WFP also launched school feeding and nutrition programmes to address populations’ needs more holistically and to build trust and positive engagement with them.
Food assistance is the only non-medical assistance provided to Ebola contacts during their medical observation period, and provides a key incentive in preventing movement of potentially affected people.
In October 2017, WFP activated a Level 3 emergency, covering the six most populous and conflict affected provinces – North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Kasai, Kasai Central and Tanganyika. A significant scale-up of WFP activities was required to reverse the deepening hunger crisis in DRC. WFP’s strengthened field operations yielded substantial results by reaching 5.2 million Congolese beneficiaries in 2018, providing life-saving food and nutrition assistance in the form of in-kind food, and cash. WFP is targeting over 5 million people in 2019.