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Democratic Republic of Congo: 27 million people highly food insecure, 857,000 children and 468,000 women likely suffering from acute malnutrition


Around 27 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) between September and December 2021, of which around 6.1 million people are experiencing critical levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 4). The country has the largest number of highly food insecure people in the world. In the projection period, from January to June 2022, 25.9 million people or 25% of the analysed population will likely be in IPC Phase 3 or above, including 5.4 million in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The first-ever IPC Acute Malnutrition analysis conducted in 70 health zones out of the 503 areas of DRC has also revealed that nearly 860,000 children under the age of five and nearly 470,000 pregnant or lactating women are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022. Of the children, more than 200,000 are expected to be severely malnourished and will urgently require treatment.
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For decades, the DRC has been engulfed by a complex humanitarian crisis, fuelled by armed conflict, natural disasters and disease outbreaks. While the poverty rate of the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen slightly over the past two decades, particularly in rural areas, the DRC nonetheless remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Women and children remain the most vulnerable. The crisis context is aggravated by a political standstill, the slowdown in economic growth, and structural weaknesses in terms of development.
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Actions Needed

  • Conflict resolution: Address the root causes of communal and political conflicts, especially in Katanga and Kivu provinces, to allow displaced households to return to their homes and rebuild their livelihoods.
  • Humanitarian assistance: Provide humanitarian support to populations classified in IPC Phases 3 and 4 to improve their food consumption, particularly in the Eastern provinces and the country’s central region.
  • Livelihood support: Provide livelihood support by improving household access to tools and seeds. Improve technical capacity to grow more food. Support livestock herding communities and small-scale farmers in the fight against epizootics and plant diseases by supplying necessary inputs.
  • Manage diseases: Strengthen measures to combat waterborne diseases by improving access to water and sanitation facilities, mainly in endemic areas. Continue national efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to sensitise the population to respect measures.

IPC Classification Maps

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