WFP / DRC FOOD CRISIS

10-Nov-2021 00:03:04
New findings indicate the food crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) shows little sign of abating, and could worsen in the coming months without scaled-up assistance, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned today. WFP
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STORY: WFP / DRC FOOD CRISIS
TRT: 3:04
SOURCE: WFP
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WFP ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: NATS

DATELINE: PLEASE CHECK SHOTLIST
SHOTLIST
21 SEPTEMBER 2021, MBAU, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

1.Various shots, WFP convoy travelling to Mbau, about 23km north of Beni, which has been hard hit by conflict and Ebola in recent years. On the outskirts of town people have fled their homes due to fighting.

22 SEPTEMBER 2021, MABALAKO, NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

2. Various shots, women waiting in line for cash distribution.
In late September, WFP began distributing three months of cash assistance to nearly 50,000 households in the area, covering Masereka, Mabalako and Alimbongo health zones.
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Erwan Rumen, WFP Eastern Area Coordinator:
“The reason why we are here in such a fertile environment is not because people cannot produce their food. It’s really because due to insecurity, due to movement, especially when attacks occur, especially during the harvest season, food crops are completely lost — which put this people in such a situation.”
4. Various shots, women receiving cash assistance.
5. SOUNDBITE (Kinande) Masika Teodozia Kipande:
“Our livelihood is ruined by repeated attacks. When we want to go to our fields, we hear the rebels are nearby. Many of the people from our village were killed while farming. We no longer go to our fields for fear of being slaughtered.”
6. Various shots, farmer Masika Teodozia Kipande collects cash for her extended household. She normally grows beans, manioc and maize — but now only harvests the crops near her home, where it’s relatively safe.

09 NOVEMBER 2021, KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

7. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Musoko:
“These figures are a wake-up call. Just now it feels like we are bailing a leaky boat. We need to all come together to do more, but differently, so that we can set this country on the future that it deserves.”

17 FEBRUARY 2021, KALEMIE, YANGANYIKA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

8. Various shots, Bwanakutcha Nutrition Centre.
9. Wide shot, Afuan Dobisika Furaha, taking her youngest son, Kyungu Evariste, to the nutrition clinic. Kyungu started suffering from malnutrition when Afuan stopped receiving her salary as a teacher and food prices peaked during the COVID 19 pandemic,.
10. Wide shot, Kyungu is tested for malnutrition with Mid Upper Arm Circumference test (MUAC) and receives ready-to-use supplementary food.
10. Wide shot, Afuan and Kyungu returning home and feeding Kyungu.
STORYLINE
New findings indicate the food crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) shows little sign of abating, and could worsen in the coming months without scaled-up assistance, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned today (10 Nov).

Some 27 million people, one-quarter of DRC’s population, face crisis or emergency acute food insecurity conditions, fueled by poor harvests, violence-driven displacement, disease and collapsing infrastructure, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, which was also issued today.

The number of people in the country who fall in the IPC’s crisis phase of acute food insecurity, or IPC 3, is higher than any other country analysed by the IPC.

The new IPC report, showing even areas in and around the capital Kinshasa badly affected, forecasts the alarming hunger numbers are likely to remain unchanged through the first half of 2022. Indeed, the nutrition picture could even worsen in some regions and among particularly vulnerable groups, including young children and pregnant or nursing mothers.

"The food situation for many people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains desperate, with so many different obstacles - insecurity, disease, devastation and lack of infrastructure, low access to quality inputs and finance to name but a few - ganging up against their chances of being able to properly feed themselves and their families. The only way to break the cycle and shift these trends is to help them increase their resilience and productivity," said Aristide Ongone, the FAO Representative in the DRC

“These numbers are a wake-up call for more action and to do things differently,” said WFP DRC Country Representative and Country Director, Peter Musoko. “Right now, it feels like we’re bailing out a leaky boat. We need to get together with the government, our partners and the private sector, to figure out how to give hope to the people of this country.”

The DRC’s food crisis stems from a toxic mix of factors. Agricultural production has languished amid violence and insecurity, which have cut off whole communities from their fields. Transport and communication infrastructure are crumbling. Multiple armed groups have displaced millions, especially in the Northeast, where insecurity is on the rise in two particular hotspots, despite a state of emergency imposed in May.

Even where food is available, high prices and falling incomes mean many people are unable to afford proper nutrition.

While the country has experienced a complex and protracted crisis for over two decades, the devastating effects of natural disasters have also been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.

The pandemic and measures to contain its spread have devastated the economy, with the local currency plunging and millions losing their jobs, including in the informal sector. Agricultural livelihoods have been hard hit due to a mix of factors, from the coronavirus fallout to insecurity, which have limited farmers’ access to inputs and markets, shrunk production and decimated crops and livestock.

FAO Action to support the most vulnerable

FAO has already scaled up its support to the most vulnerable in country to fast track an effective response to the scope, urgency and complexity of the crisis. Its action to reach 1.1 million people needs a total of $65 million, but so far only $4.5 million of that have been funded.

The focus is on increasing households' access to tools and seeds; providing quality livestock, which plays a key role in improving nutrition; supporting food processes and storage; and helping small farmers in the fight against animal and plant diseases. This year, FAO aims to provide life-saving livelihood assistance to 1.1 million people in areas affected by high acute food insecurity.

In 2021, FAO has provided nearly 160,000 people with seeds and tools, allowing them to produce more than 10,000 tonnes of food; given cash transfers to more than 40,000 people to strengthen their resilience in producing their own food; and vaccinated more than 25,000 cattle against pasteurellosis, among other activities.

WFP’s response to the hunger crisis
WFP plans to reach 8.7 million people in DRC in 2021 with food, nutrition and cash-based assistance – nearly two million more than last year – despite an extremely tough operating environment. The support ranges from meeting the immediate food and nutritional needs of the most vulnerable to building longer-term resilience for children and their families. WFP’s school feeding programme aims to reach 200,000 children in the 2021-22 academic year and half-a-million by 2024.

Together with UNICEF and FAO, WFP launched an urban hunger-fighting project, on the outskirts of Kinshasa. The initiative provides cash-transfers to some 100,000 extremely vulnerable people in the commune of N’sele, hard hit by the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Overall, WFP needs $99 million through April 2022 to reach those most needing support.
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