Around 27.3 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), making the central African country the host of the highest number of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in the world. Although the magnitude is unprecedented, partly due to new and urban areas analysed, the prevalence of people in IPC Phase 3 or above slightly decreased compared to the previous analysis.
The latest results indicate that approximately a third of the population analysed is experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above), with 6% to 7 in Emergency (IPC Phase 4), adding up to 6.7 million people in this situation.
The highest number of people in high acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) peaked in September 2020, which coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the Congolese authorities to put in place restrictive measures. In the same period, an increase in localised conflicts triggered population displacement, which, combined with the ailing economy, led to higher than usual levels of acute food insecurity.
Although the situation remains alarming, the February 2021 IPC analysis (28% of the population analysed in IPC Phase 3 or above) shows a slight improvement in the prevalence compared to July 2020 (33% of the population analysed in IPC Phase 3 or above).
Compared to the analysis of 2017, when the same areas were covered, a slight decrease in the prevalence of population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is observed. However, the total magnitude increases due to the size of the population analysed (66 million in July 2020 versus 96 million in February 2021).