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Conflict and flooding continue to exacerbate food insecurity in the country

  • Key Message Update
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • January 2024
Conflict and flooding continue to exacerbate food insecurity in the country

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Household food security remains a concern, particularly in conflict zones in the east of the country. In the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri, populations experiencing difficulties accessing land and food due to conflict-related insecurity remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Despite the current harvest period, which is making up for depleted stocks from last season, most of the country is facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes due to spillover from the conflict-affected regions, despite the ongoing harvests that are re-supplying households’ previously depleted stocks. In the northeastern zones (Haut-Uélé, Bas-Uélé, and Tshopo), people live mainly on forest products and by-products, from which they derive almost all their income and food throughout the year. In these zones, households are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes.
    • Since mid-December 2023, the Season A harvests have begun in the northeast and central-east, with seasonal production estimated to be below average due to poor agroclimatic conditions during the crop cycle, as well as to the reduction in the area sown over the seasons as a result of population movements in conflict zones, which has reduced household access to fields and agricultural inputs. This situation is reducing household access to food amid ever-increasing demand. 
    • Ongoing violence in some of the country's provinces continues to cause new population displacements at the height of the Season A production period. Since the beginning of 2023, more than 2.8 million people have been newly displaced in the DRC, bringing the total to around 6.5 million, 80 percent of whom have been displaced by attacks and atrocities perpetrated by armed groups. These displaced people are forced to abandon their livelihoods and are thus exposed to food insecurity.
    • The Congolese Franc (CDF) is experiencing continuous depreciation on the foreign exchange market. This national currency has lost 62 percent of its value over the last five years (2018–2023), dropping from 1,630 to 2,650 CDF per USD, with an extraverted economy and the effects of the war in Ukraine causing fuel prices to soar. This situation has had an impact on access to food for poor households. Indeed, according to the national statistics institute (INS), the consumer price index rose by 77 percent over the same period. This indicates precariousness and limits household access to basic foodstuffs and primary services.
    • Climatic shocks continue to be observed, with the rising waters of the Congo River causing extensive flooding in certain western provinces (Tshopo and Tshuapa), submerging villages and neighborhoods. Several thousand hectares of crops were destroyed. According to government figures, there were around 300 deaths and 43,000 collapsed houses, with significant destruction of road infrastructure.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Democratic Republic of Congo Key Message Update January 2024: Conflict and flooding continue to exacerbate food insecurity in the country, 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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