food insecurity remains a problem across the country

food insecurity remains a problem across the country

The observation of the UN representative for the DRC, Bruno Lemarquis, is clear: more than a quarter of the Congolese population is in a situation of acute food insecurity. This means nearly 27 million people concerned.

It’s been several years that this figure is regularly put forward by the United Nations. Already last year, the UN mentioned this quarter of the population in a situation of food insecurity. In question, armed conflicts, particularly in the east of the country and population displacements due to violence.

These are not the only reasons for UNICEF, which recalls that poverty is the first cause of malnutrition. In the DRC, according to 2018 figures, 73% of the population lives below the poverty line. The United Nations Children’s Fund announces its alarming observation. ” Out of nearly 20 million children under five in the DRC, nearly 2.5 million children are in a situation of acute malnutrition, which is the most serious form, as it can lead to death, alert Elizabeth Zanou, UNICEF nutrition manager in the DRC. In addition, nearly nine million children are chronically malnourished. It doesn’t cause death, but it does cause developmental delays. All this combined makes child survival worse “.

Nutrition is one of the organization’s major programs in the country. ” We try to act on prevention. Indeed, the first 1,000 days of a child, from pregnancy to two years of age, is the most critical phase.adds Elizabeth Zanou. But given the resources available, we only cover 30% of the treatment needs. This is why we try to mobilize the community to ensure that children are cared for at home with simplified contributions.. »

► To read also: In the DRC, the food crisis also affects urban centers

To fight against this food insecurity, means are needed that are increasingly difficult to mobilize. In 2021, for example, humanitarian actors were only able to raise half of the funds they deemed necessary. For 2022, needs are estimated at almost two billion dollars for the DRC, but specialists remained pessimistic about the achievement of this objective.

• The provinces of Greater Kasai are the most affected by this crisis

Kasai is emerging from a devastating conflict that has destroyed many production tools. This has amplified this food insecurity.

Albert Kiungu, head of civil society in Kasaï-Central and executive secretary of the NGO council