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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.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Blockades and ballots: A wild day in the post-Brexit U.K.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

British naval vessels dispatched to break a French blockade, Scottish nationalists attempting to break away from the U.K., and working class voters in the northeast breaking for the Conservatives after voting Labour for six decades.

Why it matters: That was just one day in the topsy turvy reality of post-Brexit Britain.

S.C. governor orders end to federal COVID-related unemployment benefits

Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Thursday ordered the termination of the state's participation in all federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs.

Driving the news: McMaster cited labor shortages, but some experts say it's the job climate and not unemployment benefits that is determining the pace at which people are returning to work.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration surprised the world last night by coming out in favor of waiving patents for coronavirus vaccines — but Europe is divided on the issue.

What they're saying: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said Brussels would be willing to discuss it; French President Emmanuel Macron said he backed the U.S. position, but a German government spokesman said the proposal would cause "severe complications" for vaccine production.