Skip to main content

Start of season B amid escalating armed conflict in North Kivu

  • Key Message Update
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • March 2023
Start of season B amid escalating armed conflict in North Kivu

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Normal agro-climatological conditions in agricultural season B are conducive to the normal continuation of the crop cycle in the north-east and centre-east. However, against a backdrop of escalating conflict since November 2022, particularly in North Kivu and Ituri, household participation in agricultural activities is low and harvests are expected to be below average. This situation has been repeated and amplified over the last five agricultural seasons, limiting households' access to food from their own production.

    • In North Kivu, despite several ceasefire announcements, fighting between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army continues, causing massive population displacements. Atrocities by the ADF against civilians in Beni territory are continuing, resulting in almost 110 fatalities in March. Nearly 600,000 people have been newly displaced between March 2022 and February 2023. These recurrent attacks are paralyzing socio-economic activities, and augur an increasingly precarious situation for households in the area that will not have participated in the agricultural season B.

    • The volatility of commodity prices in the eastern part of the DRC continues to give cause for concern, particularly for maize flour. Data collected in March 2023 show variations of around 28 and 12 percent respectively compared with the five-year average and the same period the previous year. This situation is due to the devaluation of the local currency, with the inflation rate at 4.175 percent since January 2023.

    • As the number of displaced persons increases in the eastern zone, epidemics are resurfacing in the camps for the displaced in North Kivu. According to MSF, an average of 90 new cases of cholera are reported every day, while the measles epidemic continues to grow, with almost 900 cases already reported since the beginning of 2023 in the Nyiragongo health zone alone; a worrying situation given the promiscuity of the IDP sites, which is conducive to rapid spread. These epidemics contribute to the food and nutritional insecurity of these displaced households, who are also cut off from their livelihoods.

    • In March, with the resumption of agricultural activities and the depletion of low household stocks, mainly in the conflict zones (Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu), households will widen their consumption deficit, and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In some health zones in the Djugu and Rutshuru territories, which have been most affected by the conflict, an increase in the population in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is anticipated. The south-central and southeastern regions, mainly Maniema, Sud-Kivu and ex-Katanga, which are managing to cover their minimum food requirements, are likely to move improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The provinces of Haut-Uele, Bas-Uélé, Tshopo and part of Maniema are in Minimal (IPC Phase 1).

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Democratic Republic of Congo Key Message Update March 2023: Start of season B amid escalating armed conflict in North Kivu, 2023.

    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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top