The civil war that has plagued the Democratic Republic of Congo since mid-1998 has devastated the central African country, leaving 10 million people vulnerable to food shortages. In rural areas, food is scarce because fighting has forced farmers off their land. In urban centers, like the capital Kinshasa, what little food is still available is too expensive for the poor to buy. One hungry person in 10 has been driven out of his or her home and is trapped in the Republic's interior, cut off from food and aid by the fighting.
"WFP to the Rescue"
Last June, WFP appealed for US$30 million in order to purchase and deliver emergency food to the 350,000 most vulnerable people located in accessible areas. We have already started to transport food aid. One route uses barges to cross Lake Tanganyika from Tanzania and grants WFP access to tens of thousands of the Congo's needy, mainly in northeastern Katanga and south Kivu.
But the Emergency Continues
Although new food and cash pledges by governments have been recently donated, WFP has only received 34 percent of the required aid -- a 25,000 million-ton shortfall. As food supplies run down, WFP has renewed its appeal for funding.
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