food insecurity remains a problem in general

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 almost 27 million affected people.

It has been several years that this number is regularly presented by the United Nations. Already last year, the UN mentioned this quarter of the population in a situation of food insecurity. These are armed conflicts, especially in the eastern part of the country, and population displacements due to violence.

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

Nutrition is one of the organisation’s major programs in the country. “We try to act preventively. In fact, the first 1000 days of the child, from pregnancy to two years, are the most critical phase, adds Elizabeth Zanou. However, given the resources available, we only cover 30% of the treatment need. Therefore, we are trying to mobilize society to ensure that children are looked after at home with simplified contributions.

►Read also: In the DRC, the food crisis also affects urban centres

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

• 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 exacerbated this food insecurity.

Albert Kiungu, leader of civil society in Kasaï-Central and executive secretary of the NGO Council

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