GIEWS Country Briefs

Democratic Republic of the Congo PDF version    Email this article Print this article Subscribe FAO GIEWS RSS  Share this article  

Reference Date: 11-February-2014


  1. Mixed performance of the main season harvest due to rainfall deficit in eastern areas

  2. High and volatile food prices observed in conflict-affected areas in eastern and southern DRC

  3. Civil insecurity continues to hamper food access in conflict-affected areas

Mixed performance of the main season harvest due to rainfall deficit in eastern areas

The harvest of the main season maize crops has been completed in northern and central regions between October 2013 and January 2014, while in southern provinces is currently underway. According to remote sensing analysis, adequate rains were received in several areas, with the exception of some eastern areas of Orientale, North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, Kasai Oriental and Katanga provinces, were rainfall deficits may have negatively impacted crops in parts.

Earlier in the year, the harvest of the second season maize crops was completed between May and July. Satellite based analysis indicate that adequate rains were received by most cropping areas throughout the country.

Food prices remain high in conflict-affected areas

Prices of cereals have remained generally high and volatile since late 2012 in conflict affected eastern and southern areas. In December 2013, prices of maize declined by 26 percent in Bunia, in the eastern Ituri province, as local harvests and increased imports from neighbouring Uganda increased supplies, while they remained stable in Lubumbashi, in the southern Katanga province. However, in these markets maize prices in December 2013 were still about 60 percent higher than in Kisangani, Mbandaka, Kananga and Zongo markets, located in non‑conflict areas of the country.

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 twelve months.

Civil conflict continues to limit access to food

Persistent insecurity continues to restrict access to land and agricultural inputs, limiting households’ productive capacity, while high food prices in eastern and southern provinces are exacerbating food insecurity for poor households.

According to the latest available Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) food security analysis, the number of people in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis (IPC phase 3: “Crisis” and phase 4: “Humanitarian Emergency”) was estimated at about 6.7 million as of December 2013, with a 5 percent increase compared to June 2013, when it was estimated at 6.4 million.

The areas most affected by severe food insecurity (IPC phase 4: “Humanitarian Emergency”) include parts of Maniema and Oriental provinces in the east and parts of Katanga province in the south, where the escalation of civil conflict during 2013 severely damaged local livelihood systems and caused massive displacement.

As of late December 2013, the total number of IDPs was estimated at more than 2.9 million, with a 12 percent increase compared to June 2013, when it was estimated at 2.6 million. Conflict affected North and South Kivu and Katanga provinces account for more than 70 percent of the total IDP number. In addition, DRC has received about 53 000 refugees from CAR since early 2013 and about 120 000 Congolese who were expelled from Angola.

In response, the international community launched in late 2013 the 2014 Strategic Response Plan. The food security cluster, led by FAO and WFP, plans to assist 4.8 million beneficiaries for a total cost of USD 256 million, providing food assistance to severely food insecure populations and supporting the agricultural sector by improving access to essential agricultural inputs including seeds and tools.

Relevant links:
 As of Dec 2013, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Main Food-related Policy Measures (From 1 Jan 2008 to 11 Oct 2011)
 Interpolated Estimated Dekadal Rainfall
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2000, 1998
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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