Reference Date: 30-April-2013
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Good start of seasonal rains in northern areas, but localised heavy downpours resulted in flooding
High and increasing food prices observed in conflict-affected areas in eastern and southern DRC, while prices in western parts are stable
Civil insecurity continues to hamper food access in conflict-affected areas
Timely start of the rainy season observed in northern provinces
In the northern provinces of Equateur and Oriental, planting activities of the second season crops to be harvested from June have been completed in March and precipitation levels have mostly been near average since then. In April, localized torrential rains caused the overflow of the Congo river which destroyed about two thousand hectares of cassava and rice in Isangi district of Oriental province.
In central areas of the country, harvesting of second season cereal crops is well underway, while it is about to start in the south. Cumulative seasonal (October-February) rainfall has been near normal levels in southern province of Katanga, while in central provinces of Bandundu, Kasai Occidental and Kasai Oriental precipitations were below normal.
Food prices remain high in conflict-affected areas
Retail prices of cereals remain high in areas affected by civil insecurity. In March, maize was traded in conflict-affected eastern towns of Bunia, Bukavu and Isiro at about CDF 650-700 per kg (USD 1 = CDF 909), while it was traded between CDF 240 and CDF 320 in most western markets, such as Kisangani, Bandudu, Kikwit and Mbandaka, where security conditions are favourable. In the southern Katanga province, maize prices rose sharply between February and March (with peaks of up to 75 percent) in markets of Lubumbashi, Kolwezi and Likasi following the recent resurgence of local conflict and reduced imports from neighbouring Zambia. In the capital city Kinshasa, prices of major staple food crops for urban consumers such as rice, wheat flour and cassava have been generally stable during the last 12 months.
Civil conflict continues to limit access to food
Persistent insecurity continues to restrict access to land and agricultural inputs, limiting households’ productive capacity, which is predominantly at the subsistence level. High food prices in eastern and southern provinces are exacerbating food insecurity for poor households.
According to the latest available Integrated food security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, the number of people in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis (IPC phases 3 and 4) was estimated at about 6.4 million as of December 2012, with an increase of about 75 000 people compared to October 2012. The food insecure people are mostly concentrated in the provinces of North and South Kivu, Oriental, East and West Kasai, Katanga, Equateur and Bandudu. Two-thirds of them or about 4.2 million persons are considered severely food insecure.
As of early April 2013, OCHA estimates the number of internally displaced people at about 2.6 million, mainly in the Kivus, Maniema and Katanga provinces as a result of armed conflict between the Congolese army and various rebel groups. Since mid-February 2013, DRC has received an increasing number of refugees from the Central African Republic and so far about 35 000 refugees have been registered by the UNHCR.