Two United Nations agencies, the World Food Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organization, have warned world leaders that the hunger crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is worsening. In a joint statement, the two agencies declared that the DRC is "home to the highest number of people in urgent need of food security assistance in the world." The two organization has simply called the situation "staggering."
"Conflict remains a key cause of hunger with large swathes of the conflict-affected eastern provinces of Ituri, North and South Kivu and Tanganyika, as well as the central region of Kasais, the scene of recent conflict, the worst hit," a joint statement from the WFP and the FAO reads.
Approximately one in three residents of the DRC are now critically hungry. The UN reports that the hunger crisis has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some families are reportedly getting by on a diet of cassava leaves and taro. The WFP says that it needs upwards of $500 million to keep many from starving.
"This country should be able to feed its population and export a surplus. We cannot have children going to bed hungry and families skipping meals for an entire day," Peter Musoko of the WFP said.
"Added to this are the poorest populations in urban and peri-urban areas and those living in landlocked areas with low purchasing power and access to food through markets," the WFP and FAO added.
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