from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – WITH an estimated 26,4 million people in need of food assistance, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the most food-insecure country in the world.
Also with 5,7 million people displaced by conflict, the Central African country has the largest number of internally displaced people on the entire African continent.
Over the past 12 months, the humanitarian situation has been worsened by a spike in violence, particularly in North Kivu province where more than 600 000 people have been newly displaced since March 2022.
In the neighboring Ituri province, localities continue to be the scene of inter-communal massacres, including in refugee sites, while diseases such as measles continue to affect thousands in South Kivu province.
It is against the backdrop of these crises that the government of the DRC and the humanitarian community have launched the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims at raising US$2,25 billion to support the critical needs of 10 million vulnerable people in the country.
“Beyond mobilizing funds for vital needs, the Humanitarian Response Plan is a reminder of our common humanity, solidarity and shared responsibility towards populations affected by conflict, epidemics and natural disasters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which remains a major complex crisis and deserves all the attention it can get,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator in DRC, Bruno Lemarquis.
In 2022, humanitarian actors had appealed for $1,88 billion, of which 48 percent was funded. This left millions without necessary assistance.
“Despite the international context marked by many overlapping crises, donors continue to support operations across the country,” Lemarquis said.
He also praised the involvement of Congolese non-governmental organisations as an important component of the humanitarian response.
“Humanitarian assistance is not the solution to the humanitarian crisis, but it remains crucial to meet the immediate needs of millions of affected families.”
The country of an estimated 97 million people is best by armed groups mostly in the east. DRC is scheduled to hold elections later this year.
– CAJ News