The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has for the first time in four months, delivered life-saving food and nutrition assistance to Rutshuru Territory, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where over 28,000 malnourished children, pregnant and nursing mothers were no longer receiving nutrition assistance due to access restrictions caused by renewed violence.
With support from the authorities in Goma, and other actors, WFP was able to deliver 26 metric tons of special nutritious food to 8,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in 12 health centers across Rutshuru Territory.
‘’We hope this is a turning point, the deliveries are an important first step at a time when thousands of families have been forced to flee their homes in hard-to-reach areas – have little or no access to nutritious food,” said Wilfred Nkwambi, WFP’s Head of Goma Area Office. “It is crucial that all people in need have a full, safe, and unhindered access to humanitarian aid.”
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the 15 countries in the world with the highest rates of acute malnutrition among children. An estimated 2.8 million children under five and 2.2 million pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are suffering from acute malnutrition. Moreover, about 45 percent of deaths among children under 5 years of age are directly or indirectly related to malnutrition.
An estimated 26.4 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are food insecure, largely due to conflict, mass displacement and low agricultural production.
WFP requires US$ 627.3 million in 2023 to respond to the growing food and nutrition needs in the country, including scaling up lifesaving assistance to internally displaced people and returnees in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Funding is needed to help children get access to nutritious food through school feeding programmes, nutrition services, and support for livelihood activities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).