Apr 6, 2021 - World

UN: 27.3 million people suffering from acute hunger in DRC

A market in  in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, in October 2019.

A market in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, in October 2019. Photo: JC Wenga/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Some 27.3 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are affected by high acute food insecurity, two United Nation agencies warned Tuesday.

Why it matters: The central African country is home to the highest number of people in urgent need of food security assistance in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme.

Context: The UN agencies said conflict, an economic slump and the coronavirus pandemic are key causes of hunger in the DRC.

  • Nearly seven million people are suffering from emergency levels of acute hunger.
  • Those displaced by natural disasters and war are the most affected populations in the country.

What they're saying: "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," said Peter Musoko, the World Food Programme representative in DRC.

  • "The recurring conflicts in eastern DRC and the suffering they bring remain of great concern," said Aristide Ongone Obame, a Food and Agriculture Organization representative in DRC.
  • "We need to urgently focus on growing food where it is needed most, and on keeping people's sustenance-giving animals alive. The main agricultural season is around the corner and there is no time to waste," Obame added.
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