Rising food prices and high unemployment are causing concern in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Food insecurity and fears of malnutrition plague the people, especially in areas of conflict, where people cannot access markets and farmland.
Distribution of food (food voucher) in the health areas of Shabunda and Lulingu, Nyalubwe, Lugungu, Muntutugu and Katshungu in Shabunda territory. First phase of distributions from November 29 to December 12, 2021 in the sites of Nyalubwe and Lugungu for 4613 people, representing 747 households. (Author: People in Need)
South Kivu is a province in the east of the DRC. This part of the country faces a humanitarian crisis caused by unrest and tensions between villages. Natural disasters and diseases complicate the situation. Furthermore, the population suffers from a lack of medical care and the nutritional insufficiency of locally available food. The situation in South Kivu was worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic when many people lost their only sources of income and were pushed into poverty. People in Need (PIN), with financial support from US AID, is helping to provide food security and financial self-sufficiency for people in Shabunda (South Kivu). PIN is organising agricultural supplies and food distributions for displaced people.
Talking about her difficult living situation, Lutala Shurti notes: “My husband has health problems and cannot care for the children and me. So, I have to work a lot in the fields to feed my family, but it is still not enough. I have just received food aid from People in Need. Thanks to this aid, I can feed my children properly."
People in Need, in Shabunda, conducts regular food distributions. The project targets disadvantaged people in the province, including people with disabilities, families with malnourished children, and pregnant and lactating women. The distributions provide individuals with basic and nutritionally valuable food, seeds, and agricultural tools such as watering cans, hoes, or spades.
"We often eat only once a day in our house because we don't have enough food. During the distribution organised by People in Need, I received rice, cassava, palm oil, and seeds that I planted in the field. So now I have enough food to feed my family," says Lutala Shurti, describing how the food distribution helps her feed her six children while they wait for the harvest.
It is estimated that up to 27 million people in the DRC suffer from food shortages. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this situation. However, People in Need, with the help of US AID, is supporting vulnerable people in the DRC through agricultural activities designed to strengthen their food security and financial stability. Thanks to this project, Congolese farmers can grow and sell their own agricultural products and thus fullfill the basic needs of their families.
Author: Zawadi Izabayo, Veronika Gabrielová