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Country Briefs

  Democratic Republic of the Congo

Reference Date: 20-July-2016


  1. Overall favourable vegetation conditions for secondary 2016 season crops

  2. Inflation rates forecast to slightly increase in 2016

  3. Prices of maize surging in south

  4. Serious humanitarian situation in eastern and southern provinces due to persisting civil conflict

Overall favourable vegetation conditions for secondary 2016 season crops

In northern and central bi‑modal rainfall areas, harvesting of the second season maize crop was completed in July and June, respectively. In southern uni‑modal rainfall areas, harvesting of the 2016 maize crop was concluded in May.

According to remote sensing analysis, abundant precipitation was received over most cropping areas, thus benefiting vegetation conditions. However, the heavy rainfall, linked to the strong El Niño episode, triggered widespread floods in 10 out of 26 provinces, damaging more than 5 500 hectares of crop land.

Inflation rates forecast to slightly increase in 2016, prices of maize surging in south

Inflation, which stood at 46 percent in 2009, fell to 1 percent in 2013 and remained stable in 2014 and 2015 as a result of the implementation of economic reforms and tighter fiscal and monetary policies. Inflation rates are forecast to slightly increase to 1.7 percent in 2016, due to a relatively strong economic growth and a loosening fiscal policy, which is expected to boost domestic demand. In Lubumbashi market, located in the southern Haut Katanga Province, prices of maize flour surged by about 60 percent between February and April, in part due to reduced imports from neighbouring Zambia.

Humanitarian situation remains serious in eastern and southern provinces due to persisting civil conflict

The escalation of the civil conflict since 2013, especially in eastern and southern provinces, severely damaged local livelihood systems and caused massive population displacements. As of late March 2016, the IDP caseload was estimated at 1.8 million, 300 000 more than in December 2015, mainly due to the worsening security in the Nord-Kivu Province. About 43 percent of the displaced population is located in North Kivu and the rest mainly reside in Sud-Kivu, Maniema and the former Katanga Province.

Over 1.4 million IDPs are hosted by families and communities, putting added strain on the resources of host communities who are already facing chronic poverty, limited livelihood opportunities and social services (health, sanitation, education) and are likely to be further pushed into unsustainable coping mechanisms and livelihood strategies.

Moreover, DRC hosts refugees from CAR and Burundi: their number was estimated at 113 000 in late April and 23 340 in early July, respectively.

Furthermore, the torrential rains received in the last quarter of 2015 and in the first quarter of 2016, resulted in widespread floods, which affected more than 770 000 people and caused the displacement of more than 40 000 individuals. The most affected areas are located along the Congo River and in the former Katanga Province. Destruction of food stocks has also been reported in Manono, Nyunzu and Kalemie territories in Tanganyika.

The widespread floods exacerbated the incidence of water borne diseases: between January and June, nearly 21 000 cases of cholera have been reported, twice the caseload estimated in the same period last year and a severe outbreak of malaria was reported in Haut‑Uele Province, with over 250 000 cases recorded between January and May, four times the number reported in the comparable period of 2015. In addition, a yellow fever epidemic was declared on 20 June in Kinshasa, Kwango and Kongo‑Central provinces. From January to June, 68 confirmed and 1 798 suspected cases were recorded, including 85 deaths.

According to the latest available IPC analysis, that covers the period from September 2015 to March 2016, the number of people in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis Phase 3: “Crisis” and Phase 4: “Emergency” was estimated at about 4.5 million. The areas most affected by food insecurity are the conflict‑affected Maniema, Katanga and North Kivu provinces, where 18, 16 and 13 percent, respectively, of the total national food insecure population reside.

In late 2015, the international community launched the 2016 Strategic Response Plan. The food security cluster, led by FAO and WFP, plans to assist 3.7 million beneficiaries for a total cost of USD 184 million, providing food assistance to severely food insecure populations and protecting and strengthening livelihoods.

In particular, FAO will:

  1. Support food production through agricultural, fishing and livestock rearing input distributions, seed fairs and farming field schools.

  2. Reinforce household resilience through market gardening support, trainings in nutrition and post-harvest preservation and processing techniques, and agricultural infrastructure rehabilitation.