DRC: High levels of food insecurity pushing communities to breaking point

November 17, 2021

According to a newly released IPC report, hunger levels remain close to an all-time high in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where around 27 million people - roughly a third of the population - are suffering from high levels of acute food insecurity, with the forecast remaining bleak through June 2022. The report starkly illustrates how food insecurity contributes to a malnutrition crisis: nearly 860,000 Congolese children and 470,000 young mothers will likely suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022. 

Whitney Elmer, Country Director for Mercy Corps in DRC, says: 

"The IPC report paints a grim picture: in the coming six months, around one in every three people in the DRC will struggle to find enough food to survive. At a time when many countries are suffering, it's clear that the DRC faces a unique challenge. The country has the largest number of highly food insecure people in the world. This hits the most vulnerable communities the hardest; there are areas where the situation is close to breaking point. 

The food security crisis in DRC reflects deeper issues: over two decades of conflict, economic instability, high food prices, exacerbated by the impact of climate change and the continuing effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the country's east is experiencing a recurrence of Ebola and is seeing an uptick in violence in South Kivu, North Kivu and Ituri provinces. This isn't just a food crisis or a health crisis. It's a combination of emergencies. 

While we are doing what we can to support those affected, the humanitarian community faces an enormous funding shortfall of more than $1.3 billion out of the $2 billion required, at a time when the needs in DRC have never been more urgent. International donors must continue investing in humanitarian response in DRC to reach those desperately in need of life-saving assistance while also scaling up development and peacebuilding efforts. 

Unless urgent action is taken, the situation will continue to worsen, and communities will continue to plunge deeper into crisis - we cannot allow this to happen. The international community and its Congolese partners have to step up before it's too late."