The political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its humanitarian consequences have escalated over recent months. A situation already characterized by widespread chronic poverty and food insecurity has rapidly deteriorated into an acute crisis of dramatic proportions. Mass internal displacements have been occurring in the North Kivu, South Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika, Haut-Katanga and the Kasai provinces, with the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) reaching 3.7 million in July 2017. In the Kasai region alone, over 1.3 million people are internally displaced and an additional 30,000 have fled across the border to neighboring Angola.
WFP has been responding to the needs of refugees in Angola since May through IR-EMOP 201076, which will be succeeded by EMOP 201083 as of August. UNHCR estimates that by December 2017 50,000 DRC refugees will require assistance in Angola. The long-running conflict in DRC’s Tanganyika province has intensified and triggered the displacement of 430,000 IDPs towards Kalemie town. In the Kivus, clashes between militias have also escalated, resulting in the displacement of 150,000 IDPs in recent months.
The combination of increased political uncertainty around the electoral process and of an economic recession in DRC is likely to exacerbate these multiple conflicts and to lead to further insecurity, internal displacements and possible cross-border movements into neighboring countries. In the event of civil unrest and riots in urban areas, including Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, there is likelihood of refugee outflows into the Republic of Congo and Zambia respectively. Increased tensions in Tanganyika province could lead to refugee outflows into Tanzania, while the Kivus could generate small-scale outflows into Zambia through the Northern Province entry points.
The objective of IR-PREP 201093 is to establish adequate regional supply chain and Cash Based Transfers (CBT) preparedness measures for cross-border displacements in the region from DRC to Angola, Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tanzania.
The IRA funds will cover three regional preparedness activities:
1. Supply capacity assessments in Angola and Republic of Congo as a preparedness action for additional refugee influxes into Angola.
2. Regional supply chain corridor assessments which will incorporate CBT analysis to assess logistics infrastructure and supply corridors for Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tanzania in preparedness for refugee outflows from DRC.
3. Augmentation of storage capacity in Lunda Norte, Angola for pre-positioning of food commodities for the refugee response in Angola