In the Republic of Congo, food insecurity and poverty limit the access of rural households to basic social and education services, including primary school education. Despite improvements in primary enrolment rates, drop-out and absenteeism are high (up to 65 percent in the most food-insecure areas), leading to low primary completion. Although the Government has progressed in its promotion of universal education, school enrolment fees amount to US$1 per child, leaving 50 percent of households living under the poverty line unable to afford this service.
The 2010 comprehensive food security and vulnerability analysis (CFSVA) found that 216,000 people or 8 percent of all households are considered food-insecure, with ‘poor’ or ‘borderline’ food consumption. The most food-insecure and vulnerable regions are Cuvette, Lekoumou, and Plateaux.
Based on a programme review and the CFSVA findings, WFP plans to transition from a protracted relief and recovery operation to development assistance. This development project will provide school meals to primary school children in four target areas (Cuvette, Lekoumou, Plateaux and Pool) to increase levels of education, basic nutrition and health. Out of the total planned 65,000 beneficiaries, the project aims to reach 8,000 indigenous children, as Pygmies have been identified as the most disadvantaged and vulnerable group in terms of access to education, poverty and malnutrition.