Congo Hunger AlertPosted by: admin | Posted on: July 31, 2008
After four years of complex and devastating conflict, positive developments towards peace in DR Congo have helped stabilise the humanitarian crisis and curb astronomical death rates.
Peace talks in South Africa have led to the withdrawal of most foreign forces, and have provided a framework for implementing a peace accord as well as a government of reconciliation.
The UN military observer mission (MONUC) has started the long awaited disarmament programme for foreign soldiers.
However, although the guns have fallen silent, more than half the people of DRC are still fighting for survival.
The economic devastation resulting from the war has led to high malnutrition rates among internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees, children and the elderly. WFP is trying to feed 1.1 million people with urgent food aid.
For four years, hundreds of thousands of these people have sought refuge from fighting in the bush and have been beyond the reach of humanitarian help. Today, they are emerging from their hiding places.
Humanitarian organisations are working to feed the hungry, accompanying IDPs and refugees back to their villages and helping them to rebuild their lives. A more secure environment is helping access many pockets of isolated communities, but countless others remain cut off.
The peace process is presenting humanitarian aid workers with a window of opportunity to reach these hungry people – if the international community provides the resources.