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Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes ongoing in conflict zones during the lean season

  • Key Message Update
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • April 2024
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes ongoing in conflict zones during the lean season

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Despite diplomatic efforts by the parties to the conflict, violence continues, particularly in the provinces of North Kivu, Ituri, and Mai-Ndombe. In North Kivu, more than 40 people were killed in Beni in April by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels, while more than 15 people were killed by gunmen in and around Goma, according to local sources. In Ituri, almost 1,533 civilians have been killed and another 469 wounded since January 2024. This insecurity continues to displace people who have lost access to their livelihoods and face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes or worse. According to OCHA, some 738,000 newly displaced people have been registered since the beginning of this year, bringing the total to around 7.2 million in DRC. Households that were unable to access their fields safely and produced few or no crops during Season A are also likely to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Conflict zones will also remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    • The period from April to June marks the Season B lean season in northeast and east-central DRC. The current Season B agricultural period is continuing normally in these areas, as well as in the west of the country for food crops. Households are engaged in land preparation activities; however, heavy rainfall and flooding in some provinces are disrupting farming activities and livelihoods. As a result, below-average production is expected for the current agricultural season, and these areas, notably Equateur Province, may remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 
    • Staple food prices continue to rise at an atypical rate in local markets. This upward trend is driven by the combined effects of the depreciation of the local currency, continuing price increases of strategic products such as fuel, and the absence of agricultural feeder roads. Since the beginning of the year, the Congolese franc has depreciated by almost 4 percent against the USD, dropping by 0.21 percent from one week to the next in April 2024. In April 2024, the price of staples such as beans is around 5 percent higher than at the same time last year and 31 percent higher than the five-year average. The price of mixed beans is 16.9 percent higher than during the same period last year and 46.21 percent above the five-year average. The price of cassava is 18.04 percent higher than at the same time last year and 69 percent higher than the five-year average. 
    • The expected El Niño-related shortfalls in southern Africa maize production are unlikely to have a negative impact on the total market supply of white maize imported into the DRC. The southeastern and central parts of DRC are in a maize production deficit and rely heavily on imports from Zambia and Tanzania. Although maize cannot be obtained from Zambia due to an export ban, Tanzania has sufficient stocks of white maize and has increased its deliveries of maize meal to southeastern DRC via the port of Kalemie. The Sumbawanga and Katavi regions in western Tanzania will be able to meet the needs of southeastern DRC, and significant price disruptions are not expected. An increase in maize prices would probably trigger a marginal shift in consumption toward imported rice and local cassava, banana, and other root crops. 
    • During this lean season, many households in the western areas that experienced flooding are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Because of last season's heavy crop losses, these households are essentially market dependent until the next green harvest in June. In contrast, the central-northern and central-southern provinces, where households have better access to their own production, are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The western provinces (Kongo Central, Kwango) and southeastern provinces (Haut-Lomami and Lualaba) have not experienced any major shocks. The vast majority of households can rely on their own production, as harvests were sufficient to sell surplus agricultural produce, thus supporting Minimum (IPC Phase 1) outcomes.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Democratic Republic of Congo Key Message Update April 2024: Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes ongoing in conflict zones during the lean season, 2024.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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