One in Four Congolese Are Food Insecure as Conflict in Eastern DRC Worsens the Humanitarian Crisis

March 08, 2023

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), decades of conflict and the worsening climate crisis have led to a complex, multifaceted humanitarian emergency. The DRC is experiencing one of the worst food crises in the world, with an estimated 26.4 million people—roughly one in four—going hungry. 

In the last 12 months, further violence has worsened the humanitarian situation. This is especially true in North Kivu, where more than 600,000 people have been forced to leave their homes since March 2022. Conflict and insecurity have resulted in 5.7 million people being displaced from their homes over the years.

Emilie Vonck, Mercy Corps Country Director for DRC, says:

"The DRC crisis remains one of the most complex and underreported in the world. With an estimated 26.4 million people going hungry, the escalating violence in eastern DRC and its impact on already vulnerable communities is deeply concerning.

“Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes since March 2022, and they are now crammed into sprawling makeshift camps with deteriorating sanitary conditions. Access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene items has been affected, putting communities at risk of contracting waterborne diseases like cholera and diarrhea. We are seeing displaced families, particularly women and children, go without the most basic necessities, such as clean water, food, essential household items, and security. Some of the most vulnerable areas are cut off from humanitarian assistance that could save their lives, making the situation even more alarming.

"Unfortunately, despite mounting needs, humanitarian aid efforts are woefully underfunded; the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, which required $1.9 billion, was only 48% funded. This year, the response plan aims to raise $2.25 billion for DRC. We strongly urge governments and donors to provide the required funding to meet the needs of 10 million people in dire need of humanitarian aid. Furthermore, international organizations in DRC must work alongside communities to address some of the root causes of violence and conflict and promote peace and development, aligned with the government's renewed commitment to ending the long-running conflict in the region.”


Mercy Corps has been working in the DRC since 2007, working with communities to overcome hardships and build resilience in the face of one of the world’s most urgent humanitarian crises.