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Over 21 million people in DR Congo facing high levels of acute food insecurity driven by conflict, COVID-19, flooding and economic decline


  • In the current period (July to December 2020) out of the 66.6 million people analysed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 21.8 million (33%) are facing high levels of acute food insecurity, classified in IPC Phase 3 or 4 (Crisis or worse). This figure includes 5.7 million people classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency).
  • For the projected period (January to June 2021), 19.6 million people (29% of the population analysed) are likely to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse, including more than 4.9 million people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The provinces of North and South Kivu, Ituri and Kasai Central have the highest number of populations facing high food insecurity.


  • Conflict: Insecurity and armed conflict continue to significantly disrupt livelihoods, especially in Ituri, North Kivu, South Kivu, Tanganyika, and Maniema regions. Since 2016, approximately 6.6 million people have been living in a situation of displacement in the DRC.
  • COVID-19: In March 2020, the Congolese Government declared a State of Emergency, closing all land and air borders, with the exception of food cargo. A nationwide curfew was also enforced. The measures have had a significant impact on food prices and households’ livelihoods.
  • Economic DeclineA continued decline in national tax revenues, reduced demand for exports from the mining sector, currency depreciation and a drop in GDP growth impact households purchasing power. 
  • Natural Hazards: In South Kivu, Tanganyika, Haut Lomami and Haut Katanga, heavy rains resulted in flooding which damaged food crops. Around 500,000 people have lost almost all of their food reserves. A high prevalence of plant and animal diseases continues to hamper agriculture.

Actions Needed

To support affected populations, especially those in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4), it is recommended to:

• Provide immediate food assistance to support the most vulnerable segments of the population and help restore livelihoods;

• Set up programs that can provide support for emergency agricultural production and restore livelihoods, strengthen production systems, especially in areas affected by crop pests;

• Improve impacts on nutrition by facilitating access of to safe sources of drinking water, through the rehabilitation of boreholes in areas where access to drinking water is low; and by increasing awareness of hygiene and sanitation for households living in hard-to-reach areas;

• Put in place restrictive measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 in the most affected areas while ensuring households are able to maintain access to food and their livelihoods;

• Promote public-private partnerships to attract investors in the agricultural sector and promote local development;

• Set up an agricultural credit program to support producer organizations and youth entrepreneurship in agriculture ;

• Support initiatives to fight animal diseases and other crop pests in the most affected areas.

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