The World Food Program (WFP) has classified 13.1 million citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) as “acutely food insecure people”.
AFP blames the situation on the country’s widening violence, large scale displacement, poor harvests and endemic poverty.
Although WFP significantly expanded its program in the course of 2018 but was only able to reach five million people.
Food assistance is credited for averting famine in Kasai and Kasai Central as well as in the volatile eastern provinces of Ituri, Tanganyika and North and South Kivu, where violent conflicts forced millions to flee their homes and farmsteads.
According to WFP, the assistance provided was in the form of commodities and cash. Specially fortified foods for the treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition were also prioritized, according to AFP Country Director Claude Jibidar.
“We are grateful to donors for their strong support during a period of record needs, and count on their continued backing during what will surely be a challenging 2019”, Jibidar said.
In addition to violence, the distribution of humanitarian assistance in DR Congo was also disrupted in the course of 2018 by two deadly outbreaks of Ebola.
[Pictures courtesy of WFP]