Democratic Republic of the Congo: Food Assistance Fact Sheet - Updated April 13, 2018
Many parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are experiencing prolonged conflict and widespread poverty, contributing to population displacement, chronic food insecurity and restricted livelihood activities. There are approximately 4.5 million Congolese internally displaced persons (IDPs), according to the UN—the largest internally displaced population in Africa. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces due to recurrent intercommunal conflict. In Kasaï, Kasaï-Central, Kasaï-Oriental and Tanganyika provinces, high levels of displacement and insecurity limit income-generating opportunities, disrupt agriculture and constrain humanitarian assistance.
Food security conditions in the DRC have recently worsened. As of late 2017, nearly 7.7 million Congolese were experiencing acute food insecurity, a 30 percent increase from the 5.9 million reported in June 2016, according to the latest IPC analysis.*
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) projects that Crisis (IPC 3) levels of acute food insecurity will persist in parts of South Kivu and Maniema provinces through May 2018; in addition, Crisis-level food insecurity will continue in Kasaï, Kasaï-Central, Kasaï-Oriental and Tanganyika provinces, as well as parts of Ituri Province, through September 2018.
Other areas of central and eastern DRC will experience Stressed (IPC 2) levels of food insecurity until at least September.
*The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).
USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide in-kind food assistance sourced from the U.S. to IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host communities through general food distributions; WFP also delivers FFP-supported cash transfers for food to refugees in difficult-to-access areas of the DRC. In addition, FFP partners with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to treat severe acute malnutrition in children in eastern and central DRC.
With USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, FFP jointly funds non-governmental organization (NGO) partners the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), International Medical Corps and Samaritan’s Purse to provide a multi-sectoral package of humanitarian assistance that includes food vouchers or locally and regionally procured food to newly displaced populations.
In response to the emergency in Kasaï, Kasaï-Central and Kasaï-Oriental, FFP support enables NGO partners Action Against Hunger, CRS and Humanity and Inclusion to distribute life-saving food to nearly 165,000 food-insecure and conflict-affected IDPs, returnees and host community members.
Furthermore, FFP collaborates with NGOs CRS, Food for the Hungry and Mercy Corps on multi-year food assistance and resilience activities among vulnerable communities in South Kivu, Tanganyika, Kasaï-Central and Kasaï-Oriental provinces. These partners conduct multi-sectoral interventions—focusing on agriculture, maternal and child health and nutrition, civil participation and local governance, water and sanitation, natural resource management and biodiversity, and microenterprise productivity—that seek to strengthen household economic well-being and generate lasting gains in food and nutrition security.