Bandundu Province: Many families are food insecure in western Congo due to poor harvests, chronic poverty and rising food crisis. Malnutrition rate in Bandundu has increased over 14%. Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
Millions of people affected by crises across the country need urgent assistance.
UN agencies and humanitarian partners appealed today for US$892.6 million to help millions of people affected by food insecurity, conflict and disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) 2013
, which was launched in DRC’s capital Kinshasa, will help provide essential relief supplies including food aid, shelter, water and sanitation programmes needed to prevent life-threatening diseases such as cholera. It will implement livelihood support programmes and help local authorities strengthen communities’ access to basic social services including education.
“The HAP represents the hope that affected families have in us,” said Moustapha Soumaré during the launch. “In return, we promise to do all we can to help them meet their essential humanitarian needs.”
Some 6.4 million people in DRC are food insecure and need assistance. An estimated 2.7 million people have been displaced, more than half of them in the North and South Kivu regions of eastern DRC.
Last year, aid organizations received 70 per cent of the humanitarian appeal of $792, enabling efforts to reach over 3.6 million people with food. More than 200,000 families received agricultural support and millions of children were treated for measles, cholera, malaria and other diseases. About 114,000 children in conflict-affected areas were able to continue their schooling.
“I hope that the same commitment from the government, the donors and the greater international community will continue, and that the crisis is not going to be forgotten,” said Mr. Soumaré. “We will continue working closely with the Government because the humanitarian situation still remains alarming.”
Despite the efforts, recurrent conflict has worsened the humanitarian situation, especially in eastern DRC. Fighting between Government forces (FARDC) and rebel forces over the years had led to massive displacement in North and South Kivus. Since April 2012, more than half a million people have fled from their villages due to fighting between FARDC and the M23 armed group. About 60,000 people went to neighbouring countries such as Uganda and Rwanda.
“People are suffering and we have to find the means to assist them. We have no reason to doubt of the support of our donors,” said Mr. Soumaré. “In 2013, we will continue addressing the root causes of the crisis and start the building blocks to find long-term solutions.”