The Belgian government has granted more than 9 million euros in funding to FAO and WFP to support emergency food aid for victims of conflicts in the Greater Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The action, praised by both agencies, aims to help people affected by the crisis through an unprecedented bilateral emergency response. However, they call for greater solidarity.
A serious humanitarian crisis affects millions of people in the greater Kasai region of the DRC as a result of the conflict that has devastated the region since 2016. In addition to an overall global acute malnutrition rate of more than 10% and 400,000 children under 5 years of age suffering from severe acute malnutrition, more than one million people have been displaced and sometimes forced to leave their families, and 3.2 million are living in conditions of severe food insecurity.
Extreme violence, widespread displacement and a significant decline in agricultural production have prompted the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to develop a joint strategy in order to respond to the urgent food aid needs of 18,000 families, or about 111,000 people. The aim is to prevent and treat moderate acute malnutrition.
The WFP will manage immediate food aid which will seek to provide emergency food aid and nutritional assistance. The FAO will target agricultural recovery by distributing seeds and various agricultural implements.
On a concrete level immediate food aid will be managed by the WFP, which will seek to provide emergency food aid and nutritional assistance. The FAO will target agricultural recovery by distributing seeds and various agricultural implements (soil cultivation). through gardening and food kits enabling families to produce their own food. In addition, training in the transformation and marketing of bamboo, a renewable energy source for firewood that can be converted into many practical tools, will be given to at least 2,000 households. Vegetable gardens will also be set up close to health centres and women's associations.
In addition to protecting populations through immediate and sustainable food and nutritional security, the programe also targets a certain access to income, with a view to integration into a possible host community or a return to the village.
While this Belgian funding is warmly welcomed by both agencies, a serious deterioration of the situation remains possible. According to the latter, only joint and united work aimed at lasting peace in the long term can provide a strong response to a tragedy of such proportions.