Thursday, December 05, 2013

Less aid for the Congo

The UN World Food Program (WFP) said  that it has raised only 25 percent of its USD 478 million plan to feed 4.2 million people in Congo through December 2015. 

The agency has already been forced to reduce half of its food rations to people in North Kivu Province in eastern Congo, affecting 300,000 internally-displaced people. 

Without additional funds, the WFP will be “forced to start a significant down-scale of activities in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Equateur, Kasai and Orientale,” said agency spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs, adding that the reduction will hurt school children, refugees and people in food-for-work programs.

 One out of every 10 children in the country suffers from acute malnutrition, with about 10 percent of the people facing hunger and needing food assistance, the agency said. 

Congo has witnessed numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged on since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead. 

Since early May 2012, nearly three million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million resettled in Congo, but about 500,000 crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda. 

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