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Crisis outcomes will persist in conflict zones despite Season B harvests

  • Key Message Update
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • May 2024
Crisis outcomes will persist in conflict zones despite Season B harvests

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Violence in the DRC continues to escalate, with clashes between the various belligerents in Mai-Ndombé in the west and Nord-Kivu in the east of the country. In May, the conflicts spread to new, once-stable areas such as Lubero and the Masisi and Kalehe coastal zones, causing increased displacements. Over the past two months, almost 700,000 people have been  displaced, bringing the total number of displaced people to 7.2 million, against a backdrop of underfunded humanitarian food assistance (OCHA). Many households in these areas have lost their livelihoods and, without secure access to their fields, are unlikely to have produced significant harvests during Season A. The poor harvests of Season B, due in June, are unlikely to significantly improve household food supplies, and conflict zones such as Masisi, Rutshuru, and Kwamouth are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with a proportion of displaced households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). 
    • Since April 2024, lowland flooding continues to occur in Tanganyika, Ituri, and South Kivu following river and lake flooding that has affected road infrastructure and reduced households’ access to livelihoods. For example, nearly 56,626 households in Tanganyika were displaced from March to May 2024 due to the rising waters of the lake, and rail traffic between different provinces from Kalemie was interrupted following the destruction of bridges. In South Kivu, in the town of Baraka and its surroundings, nearly 35,000 people have been affected by flooding. These areas are expected to face a deterioration in food availability, with limited food access for households who have lost their sources of income. As a result, the number of households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes has likely increased in affected areas.
    • In the central and western parts of the country, particularly in the Equatorial and Kasai regions, flooding has caused significant crop losses. This has reduced food supplies in the affected areas and trade is now conducted by water due to damage to road infrastructure. As a result, prices of staple foods from these areas remain high, exposing these territories to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. In contrast, the provinces of Kongo Central and Kwango in the west and Haut-Lomami and Lualaba in the southeast did not experience any significant shocks. In these areas, most households were able to rely on their own production, since harvests were sufficient for domestic consumption and the sale of surpluses, sustaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. The secure areas of the equatorial region, where households can forage and also benefit from harvests staggered throughout the year, are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes.
    • The depreciation of the local currency continues to exacerbate price levels. According to the Central Bank of Congo (BCC), year-to-date inflation stood at 5.1 percent on May 10, 2024, compared with 7.2 percent for the corresponding period in 2023.  In addition, the price of fuel continues to rise, driving up the cost of transportation, goods, and services. Indeed, the price per liter of fuel has risen by an average of 13 percent compared with April 2024 and around 23 percent compared with the same period last year. The price of local yellow maize in in Kinshasa rose by 7 percent compared with May 2023. The prices of staple foods, particularly imported goods, have also risen. For example, the price of imported rice was 22 percent higher than in May 2023 and 10.4 percent higher than the five-year average.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Democratic Republic of Congo Key Message Update May 2024: Crisis outcomes will persist in conflict zones despite Season B harvests, 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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