Over 400,000 children in DRC risk starvation: UN

Le 19 mai 2017, un enfant souffrant de malnutrition attend des soins au centre de santé de Tshinyama, un petit village proche de Miabi, situé à 30 km au nord-ouest de Mbuji-mayi, en direction de Kananga, dans la province du Kasaï Orientale, au sud de la République démocratique du Congo, une région en proie aux conflits entre les miliciens du chef traditionnel Kamuina Nsapu et les Forces Armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) depuis juin 2016. / On May 19th, 2017, a child suufering from malnutrition is awaiting treatment in the health center of Tshinyama, a village near Miabi, located 30 km north-west of Mbuji-mayi, in the direction of Kananga, in the province of Kasai Orientale, in the south Of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a region plagued by conflict between the militia of the traditional leader Kamuina Nsapu and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) since June 2016.

DAKAR – The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has warned that over 400,000 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are at risk of starvation due to heightened conflicts, displacements and funding shortages.

DRC has been battling a Kamuina Nsapu militia insurgency that broke out in Congo’s central Kasai region last year, killing more than 3,000 people and displacing over I.7 million people from their homes.

Following the insurgency, farming activities came to a halt for three consecutive agricultural seasons leaving millions of people with little to harvest and little to eat.

British charity Oxfam’s country director, Jose Garcia Barahona said although Oxfam and the UN have been helping out with the supply of food and other commodities, they are not able to cater for everyone in the country.

 “Vicious conflict has left millions of people in Kasai severely hungry and the world cannot continue to ignore this scale of human suffering,…governments and international donors need to urgently plug the funding gap.”

UN children’s agency (UNICEF) said although security situation has stabilised in parts of the region and people have begun to return home, severe hunger conditions in the region are not expected to improve by June 2018.

The UN has appealed for $1.7 billion (R22.94 billion) for Congo in 2018, its third largest appeal after Syria and Yemen, to provide enough food in DRC until things have stabilised and back to normal.

Oxfam said its project to help those affected in DRC may have to close in March if the organisation fails to get enough funds needed.

Photo Credits – UN.org

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