UN: Over 27 million on the brink of starvation in Congo

UN: Over 27 million on the brink of starvation in Congo
UN: Over 27 million on the brink of starvation in Congo
No other country in the world has so many people in urgent need of food aid, according to the United Nations Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

They describe the scale of the crisis as astonishing. As many as 27.3 million people in the Congo are now critically hungry, even though the country has enormous natural resources.

– Conflict is still the main cause of hunger. The worst affected areas are large areas in the conflict-ridden eastern provinces of Ituri, northern and southern Kivu and Tanganyika, as well as the central region of Kasais, recently the scene of a conflict, the statement said on Tuesday.

Hungry in bed

The corona pandemic and the economic downturn have also contributed to the crisis, the UN organizations point out.

Some families have survived simply by eating taro, a wild tuber, or boiled cassava leaves.

– This country should be able to feed its population and export a profit, says Peter Musoko, WFP’s representative in the country.

– We can not have it like that children go to bed hungry and families go a whole day without meals, Musoko says.

WFP says they need just over 5.6 billion kroner this year to prevent millions of people in desperate need of help from starving.

Refugees hard hit

Among the hardest hit in Congo, according to the UN, are 5.2 million people fleeing their own country, as well as refugees from the Central African Republic.

– In addition, the poorest population in urban areas, as well as those who live in areas with low purchasing power and little access to food through markets, WFP and FAO say in statements.

More than 120 rebel and militia groups are active in the mineral-rich eastern Congo. Many of them originate from the two regional wars that raged in the area in the 1990s.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks