Rome, 23 November 2008 - WFP has stepped up food distributions in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where recent fighting between the Congolese army and Laurent Nkunda's rebels has heightened the need for food assistance.
WFP reached nearly 100,000 displaced people last week, including many in rebel-held territory north-west of Goma. Earlier distributions reached 93,000 people in Rutshuru and Kiwanja, also in rebel-held territory.
The new wave of distributions in rebel-held areas also included two in the Masisi region. About 25,000 displaced people in Kitchanga and 11,000 in Kilolirwe have received food.
Meanwhile, WFP also started distributions of a 20-day ration to over 56,000 people in three camps for displaced people around Goma.
WFP estimates that 1.3 million displaced people and host family members are in need of food assistance in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fighting in the region has dramatically intensified in the past two months, prompting hundreds of thousands of people to flee from their homes and from makeshift camps.
WFP has called on all parties in the conflict to put in place a genuine ceasefire and allow humanitarian staff safe and unhindered access to reach people who are in need.
Caroline Hurford, WFP/Goma, Tel. +44 7968 008474 or + 243 998 75 87 15
Marcus Prior, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. + 254 733 528 912
Peter Smerdon, WFP/Nairobi, Tel. + 254 733 528 911