DR Congo

WFP Democratic Republic of Congo: Emergency Situation Report #19

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In numbers

15.6 million food insecure people and 3.4 million children acutely malnourished

6.9 million people reached in 2019

7.6 million people targeted in 2020

1.7 million people reached in the first quarter of 2020

Highlights

• 15.6 million people are food insecure in DRC, making it the second largest food crisis in the world, after Yemen. Food insecurity is expected to increase further in 2020, as a direct result of the economic impact of COVID-19, which is threatening the livelihoods of millions of vulnerable Congolese.

• Within this context, WFP is implementing a corporate Level 3 emergency response, providing large-scale food assistance, targeting 7.6 million people.

Situation Update

• DRC remains the world’s second largest food crisis for a second year. Successive waves of violence, mass displacements and poor harvests have resulted in a protracted humanitarian crisis. With 15.6 million people facing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity, WFP and its partners significantly expanded operations in 2019, reaching a record 6.9 million people. In 2020, WFP is targeting 7.6 million people and has reached an estimated 1.7 million people in the first quarter of the year.

• The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more than 6,000 cases reported in 12 provinces.
Kinshasa is the worst affected province, with 90 percent of the known cases reported. Cases continue to increase rapidly, and this significant transmission rate is expected to continue in the coming weeks. The economic impact of the pandemic is likely to be very severe, resulting in loss of livelihoods and income, further increasing food insecurity. The pandemic has already led to the depreciation of the local currency, price fluctuations and liquidity challenges, hindering cash distributions in Ituri and South Kivu provinces recently. DRC is also battling the world’s worst measles outbreak, with more than 300,000 cases and 6,000 deaths reported nationally.

• Conflict and internal displacement remain a primary trigger for food insecurity. In North Kivu, an ongoing offensive by the Congolese Armed Forces against armed groups has led to mass displacements. An estimated 1.2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) are currently in Ituri province, following an escalation in armed conflict in recent months. WFP is providing food assistance for the newly displaced and is prepositioning food to meet increased needs.

• Within this context, WFP continues its corporate Level 3 emergency response covering the most populous and conflict-affected provinces in eastern DRC, Tanganyika, Haut Katanga and the Greater Kasai region.

Ebola: On 1 June, the DRC Government announced a new Ebola outbreak in Equateur province. This is the 11th Ebola outbreak in DRC and the second in Equateur province. Since the start of the outbreak, 24 Ebola cases and 13 deaths have been reported in five health zones.
In support of the response, WFP is conducting an assessment of the logistics capacity and needs. UNHAS is also supporting the interagency response by organizing flights to Mbandaka, from Goma and Kinshasa.

• The 10th Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC is still ongoing. Since the re-emergence of the virus on 10 April (after several weeks without any new cases), seven cases have been reported in Beni,
North Kivu province. No confirmed cases have been reported since 27 April and the Government is due to announce the end of the outbreak on 25 June. Since the beginning of the epidemic in August 2018, 3,463 cases have been reported, including 2,230 deaths. This makes it the worst outbreak in DRC’s history and the second largest and deadliest outbreak globally.