- The number of people facing acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels has dramatically increased – from 15.6 million in 2019 to 21.8 million. Currently, 33 percent of the population analysed is in IPC Phase 3 and above, of whom 5.7 million people are in IPC Phase 4, and are mostly located in the provinces of North and South Kivu, lturi and Kasai Central. The main drivers of food insecurity are (i) conflict that continues to disrupt livelihoods, (ii) the effects of COVID-19 and related containment measures, (iii) the economic decline linked to currency depreciation and drop in GDP growth, and (iv) natural hazards (floods, animal diseases, etc.).
- As the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the World Health Organization had just officially declared the end of the largest Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, in March 2020 the country declared a state of emergency and several urgent and essential measures were put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly in Kinshasa – the epicentre of the pandemic in the country. The number of confirmed cases continues to increase with 20 out of 26 provinces affected by COVID-19.
- In the meantime, a new EVD outbreak was declared at the beginning of June 2020 in the Equateur province. However, thanks to the vaccination campaign carried out, the disease was contained and no new cases were reported since September 2020.
- Thanks to funding received in the framework of FAO’s response plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on food security, FAO is supporting smallholder farmers in and around Kinshasa to increase urban and peri-urban agricultural production to reduce soaring food prices and maintain food availability. In addition, Germany has contributed USD 54 million for the implementation of a joint FAO/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)/World Food Programme (WFP) integrated resilience building programme to assist 280 000 people in the Kivu provinces to support food production, conservation and processing, and to enhance social cohesion, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene. Funds from Norway have also been received to support joint FAO/WFP resilience building efforts in Tanganyika along with funding from Sweden.
- A joint visit to the Kasais led by the Swedish Ambassador took place with the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and the Representatives of FAO and UNICEF, and the Deputy