WFP Chief visits DR Congo, highlights need to strengthen communities amidst conflict and displacement
“Conflict, displacement and disease have taken a devastating toll on the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, pushing millions into hunger and desperation. But WFP’s food assistance is providing a lifeline to many of these people, preventing them from being overwhelmed by starvation and famine,” said Beasley. “We urgently need more funding to continue this vital work. Our development programs - which include building dams and helping smallholder farmers become more productive - are also supporting communities to provide for themselves today, while laying the foundations for peace tomorrow.”
Beasley met senior Congolese officials including the President and assured them of WFP’s full support to the country including in its Presidency of the African Union - focusing on the importance of home grown school feeding programmes. He also urged continued humanitarian access to deliver assistance to those struggling to secure food.
In terms of absolute numbers, the DRC has more people living in hunger than any other country in the world – a staggering 19.6 million, of which nearly 5 million are in ‘Emergency’ (IPC phase 4) on the brink of starvation. Conflict remains the key driver of hunger with large swathes of the eastern provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu and Tanganyika, as well as the central region of the Kasais worst affected.
DRC is also home to more than five million internally displaced people – the largest number in Africa – who have fled violence, leaving behind homes and livelihoods, and are scrambling to put food on their table. In addition, more than half a million refugees from neighbouring countries have found refuge in the DRC, putting additional pressure on already scarce resources available to the locals.
Despite widespread insecurity, continued displacement and access constraints, WFP provided lifesaving food and nutrition assistance to 6.9 million people in 2020. In 2021, WFP aims to extend operations to reach 8.7 million vulnerable people in the DRC.
WFP’s resilience building activities have been scaled up and now reach more than half a million people in five provinces. A joint WFP-UNICEF social safety net programme, soon to be launched in N’sele Commune in Kinshasa, will provide 100,000 of the most vulnerable people with mobile money transfers that cover their basic needs. This is WFP’s first programme to reach urban communities in the DRC.
WFP needs US$ 662.5 million in 2021 to prevent millions of people most at risk from plunging deeper into hunger.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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