27.3 m highly food-insecure people
26 provinces affected
5.2 m people displaced
3.9 m beneficiaries reached since the beginning of 2021
Highlights in May 2021
On 22 May, volcano Nyiragongo erupted north of the city of Goma, resulting in 32 deaths and hundreds of thousands of displacements. WFP reacted quickly to support over 140,000 beneficiaries in two weeks.
On 31 May, an estimated 57 people were massacred in Boga and Tchabi, in Irumu territory, Ituri province. Many of the victims were people already displaced by violence and living in a camp.
Volcano Nyiragongo’s eruption: on 22 May, Volcano Nyiragongo, situated in the north of the city of Goma, erupted, causing 32 deaths. Given the possibility of new catastrophes, authorities ordered Goma’s partial evacuation, resulting in over 400,000 people leaving their homes.
The humanitarian community had to act quickly to respond to the event. WFP refined its contingency plan around a projected worst-case scenario. Following two joint WFP-UNICEF assessments, WFP’s current response (the first phase of which started on 30 May) assists affected populations in three identified axes. WFP and partners targeted assistance at the end of the reported period to 40,000 people in Sake, 65,000 people in Minova, 40,000 people in Rutshuru and 400 unaccompanied children and their host families (totaling 145,400 people for 10 days).
After the initial food assistance, WFP is planning a second phase in coordination with the SAFeR consortium of NGOs, in particular with Mercy Corps, to assess the food assistance needs and the impact of the crisis on the host families covering the zones from Kalehe to Rutshuru.
Since 29 May to the end of the reporting period, there has been a decrease in seismic activity, and the Governor has requested the gradual return of the displaced populations to Goma.
WFP quickly evacuated over 400 staff and their dependents, from Goma to Bukavu and other cities. Several WFP staff were also deployed to support the regions affected, including WFP’s Country Director Peter Musoko and two staff counsellors to provide comfort to the affected individuals. UNHAS adjusted its flight plans and schedule to accommodate the temporary closure of airports in the region.
Civilian massacre in Ituri: on 31 May, an estimated 57 people were massacred in Boga and Tchabi, in Irumu territory, Ituri province. Many of the victims were people already displaced by violence and living in a camp. Attacks on IDP camps are commonplace in Ituri. The authorities blamed the attack on the Allied Defence Forces (ADF), a mysterious and brutal group that originated across the border in Uganda; an official report will be produced on the attack. The massacre occurs after Ituri and North Kivu, two of the provinces hardest hit by violence, were placed under military rule effective 6 May. Nevertheless, a stronger military presence in the region was not enough to deter the assailants.
On 28 May, also in Ituri, militia attacked the base camp of an international NGO in Drodro, a village attacks over the past two decades. Staff are safe but the health project has been suspended.
COVID-19 third wave in the DRC: on 3 June, the Ministry of Health announced DRC is facing a third wave of COVID-19. The announcement came after over four weeks of increasing cases, deaths, and saturation of existing health facilities. The Ministry also confirmed that there is also an increase of Indian, Brazilian, South African, and British variants recorded on Congolese soil. The government concluded by requesting citizens to abide to the COVID-19 preventive measures, such as social distancing and wearing masks correctly. Both the national and UN vaccination campaigns are ongoing. At the end of May, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo was over 30,000, with some 800 deaths. The main province affected was Kinshasa with over 20,000 cases.
COVID-19 vaccination campaigns: as of 3 June, 26,658 people had been vaccinated in the DRC with the first dose of the Vaxzevria vaccine (i.e., Astra Zeneca). The vaccination campaign started on 19 April. The UN vaccination campaign, running in parallel, had already vaccinated another 5,620 staff as of 3 June.
EFSA implementation: the March 2021 IPC estimated that 27.3 m people in DRC are acutely food insecure, thus making the DRC the country with the highest rate of food insecurity in the world. To prepare for the next IPC workshop scheduled for mid-July, WFP has launched the data collection process through the implementation of the emergency food security assessments (EFSA) throughout the country. The data collected through EFSAs will feed the IPC analysis to update the food insecurity mapping and figures by July/August 2021. that has been target of multiple massacres and