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