DR Congo

WFP airlifts first emergency food aid to Kinshasa

News and Press Release
Originally published
Abidjan - The United Nations World Food Programme began airlifting emergency food aid today to needy Congolese facing acute food shortages in Kinshasa, the capital of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
Utilising a C-130 Hercules cargo plane on loan from the government of Belgium, WFP delivered 20 tons of maize to Kinshasa from Pointe-Noire in neighbouring Congo. The relief flight is the first to carry WFP emergency food aid into the capital since fighting broke out between the DRC government and rebel forces five weeks ago.

As part of its emergency plan to prevent acute hunger in the city, WFP hopes use the C-130 to make 15 more flights over the next week as well as move food by barge from neighbouring Brazzaville.

Currently, WFP has 700 metric tons of food stored in Brazzaville warehouses - enough to feed 100,000 people for two weeks. Once clearances are obtained by the governments of Congo and the DRC, WFP plans to transport the aid across the Congo river into Kinshasa. WFP is also currently moving 3,500 tons of food by sea to reinforce its stocks in Pointe-Noire.

WFP expects to target about 120,000 of the most vulnerable in Kinshasa, including children under five, lactating and pregnant women and hospital patients. Once security measures and distribution logistics in Kinshasa are put in place with local authorities and other humanitarian partners, WFP will begin its emergency food distribution.

For further information please contact:

Wagdi Othman
Information Officer, WFP/Abidjan
Tel. : +225 21 17 09 or 21 42 42

Abby Spring
Information Officer, WFP/New York
Tel. +1-212 963-5196

Jeff Rowland
Information Officer, WFP/Rome
Tel. +39 06 6513-2971

Brenda Barton
Information Officer, WFP/Nairobi
Tel. +254-2 622-336