Hunger levels double in DR Congo: Report

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Around 15 million people, including women and children, in the Democratic Republic of Congo are without food in 2018, up from 7.7 million last year.

“The deteriorating hunger situation is concentrated in the ten provinces most adversely affected by violence,” Norwegian Refugee Council said in a statement, citing a report by World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization and DR Congo’s Ministry of Agriculture.

“There have also been reports of women and girls in North Kivu going into prostitution to make money to buy food, as well as some men and boys joining armed groups just to receive regular meals,” it said.

“We are witnessing emergency levels of hunger and malnutrition in every town and village where we respond,” said Ulrika Blom, the country director for Norwegian Refugee Council in DR Congo.

Blom said they have witnessed people eating the raw seeds they received for planting in an attempt to satisfy their hunger.

According to the report, food production in DR Congo has fallen fast over the last 12 months. Staple foods like maize, cassava and rice have seen an average decline of 39 per cent in production levels compared to the previous season.

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