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Democratic Republic of the Congo Key Message Update, November 2018

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Situation Report
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Delayed planting season in the Ruzizi Plain due to the late arrival of rain

Key Messages
- The late return of rains by 2-3 dekads in the Central East of the country has delayed planting in the Ruzizi Plain where agricultural households will now complete their planting of staple crops in November. Those in the Northeast who planted earlier, are maintaining their growing crops. Staggered harvests are therefore expected in the region beginning in mid-December 2018.
- Since the end of September 2018, maize prices in Haut-Katanga province have been volatile, with increases as much as 56 percent in the period of a month in the Lubumbashi market where the price of a 25kg sack of maize flour has increased from 18,000 to 28,000 Congolese francs. This increase in prices is a result of the export restriction on maize from Zambia since the second half of September 2018. With the strong demand for maize in this area, it is expected that prices will continue to rise during the upcoming lean season.
- Since the beginning of October 2018, the Kasai region has received a continuous stream of arrivals of Congolese nationals expelled from Angola. Presently, more than 400,000 people have been registered, most of whom are residing with host families in Kamonia, Lwiza and Kwango territories. These arrivals have placed additional pressure on already scarce local resources, while there is little assistance from humanitarian organizations, particularly in the localities of Lwiza and Kamako.
- Although displaced persons began returning to Ituri province in March 2018, the territory of Djugu in Ituri has been in the midst of renewed conflict between armed groups and the military since September 2018. Of the 7,985 households that returned, about 32 percent have been displaced again. Displaced households do not have access to their fields, while returnees have lost two successive agricultural seasons. According to an RRMP report, food availability in the area and the presence of seeds for planting are almost non-existent.
- The outbreak of Ebola in North Kivu and Ituri provinces continues to claim victims; as of November 18th, there were 366 cases, including 214 deaths. The volatility of the security situation and continuing untimely attacks by armed groups, particularly in Beni, is hindering response efforts. It also disrupts normal agricultural and livelihoods activities. If this situation persists, a deterioration in food security in the area is likely to occur.