Congo

WFP Republic of Congo Country Brief, January 2017

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Highlights

  • The School Feeding Programme faces a critical funding gap. The new school year started in October, but there is currently very little food available for the school canteens. WFP’s Social Safety Net programme is also in urgent need of funding.

  • Funded by the European Union, WFP, FAO and IFAD have launched a small-holder farmers’ project with the Government to promote a home grown school feeding programme.

  • WFP has initiated an Immediate Response Emergency Operation following the Government’s request to provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced people in the Pool department following fighting between security forces and the “Ninjas” militia.

Operational Updates

  • Through the school feeding programme, WFP provides 95,000 children with hot meals and plans to reach 132,000 children in 2018. The new school year started in October but is facing a serious funding gap.

  • In November 2015, under the safety net component, WFP resumed electronic food transfer to the vulnerable people in the newly-selected areas of Sibiti and Owando. The programme, however, is still suspended in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire due to insufficient resources. In the newly selected areas, available funds are also exhausted with a critical gap from November 2016.

  • Security situation in the Pool department:
    Since late September, several armed clashes between government forces and forma militia ‘Ninjas’ have occurred. According to the Government, more than 60 deadly attacks have been carried out. As a consequence, thousands of people have fled the affected areas. The area had already been hard hit by unrest. WFP has started this month an Immediate Response Emergency Operation to assist displaced persons in the surrounding villages and towns.

Challenges

  • WFP Congo urgently requires funding for the safety net and for school feeding programmes.

  • River transport between Brazzaville and Likouala can only be carried out during the rainy season (July-December) when the Ubangi River is passable.

Impact of limited funding

  • WFP faces unprecedented resource constraints.

  • The Government of Congo is the main donor for the WFP's Country Programme. Falling oil prices have resulted in serious budgetary constraints for the Government and have left a critical funding gaps for the WFP Country Programme.

  • WFP has not received any contribution from the Government since 2014 and it is expected that the economic and financial crisis will continue in 2017.

  • The lack of resources has a huge impact on the implementation of WFP’s programmes under the Country Programme, where only very few activities can be carried out, leaving many beneficiaries without any assistance.

  • WFP urgently needs support from new donors to continue providing food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable people in the Republic of Congo.

  • WFP is also seeking additional support to scale up the small farmers’ project started in the Bouenza department, to include other commodities and areas to further develop the home grown school feeding program.