Republic of Congo: malnutrition levels among children above the emergency threshold in the Pool region 20 million US$ emergency assistance needed

Brazzaville, 23 June 2017 – The Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and Solidarity, along with the Ministry of Public Health and the United Nations unveil today June 23 in Brazzaville, the alarming results of a food security and nutrition analysis among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of the Pool region. The number of IDPs due to the Pool region unrest has multiplied almost six fold in less than a year going from 12 986 persons in June 2016 to 81 000 in May 2017.

This food security and nutrition analysis was conducted among a sample of IDPs between 11-18 May 2017 by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and Solidarity, along with the Ministry of Public Health and the United Nations with the support of the NGO Caritas, in certain accessible zones welcoming IDPs (Kinkala, Mbandza-Ndounga, Louingui, Boundzaka, Voungouta) as well as localities in the neighboring Bouenza region (Loutété, villages Moutélé and Sonel in the district of Yamba).

The analysis presents alarming results: the rate of global acute malnutrition (GAM) among displaced children under five is 17, 3% thus exceeding the 15% emergency threshold laid down by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Among the IDPs of the Bouenza region who have yet to receive consequential humanitarian assistance, this rate reaches 20,4 % against 12,8 % among displaced children of the Pool region who have received – although limited - humanitarian assistance.

In non-accessible zones which have yet to go through a similar kind of analysis, there is reason to fear an even more complicated situation as the number of IDPs continues to increase and living conditions worsen more every day.

The results also show that 51,3 % of internally displaced male-led households and 54,4 % of internally displaced female-led households are affected by food insecurity and face growing hardships with regards to accessing food and meeting basic needs.

This situation reflects the high risk of child mortality which needs to be addressed by an urgent and integrated food and nutrition assistance.

In order to ensure a better food, medical aid and sanitary assistance to internally displaced persons it is crucial to urgently mobilize additional resources. As such, the United Nations need to mobilize 20 657 345 US$ to provide emergency assistance for the 6 months to come.

This financial aid will allow the provision of essential food and nutrition assistance to reduce malnutrition rates among displaced populations which are now estimated to 24 404 in the Pool region, 28 535 in the Bouenza region and 28 090 in Brazzaville with the ultimate goal to save lives and to avoid the situation getting worse.

For more information, please contact : Claire le Privé, WFP communication officer, claire.leprive@wpf.org and Prosper Mihindou-Ngoma, UNIC Public information officer, mihindou-ngoma@un.org