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Reference Date: 20-November-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Overall favourable vegetation conditions for the 2014 crops despite below-average rainfall in some areas

  2. Inflation increased in 2014 but still very low compared to recent years

  3. Civil conflict and recent floods in eastern and southern parts affect food security

Good prospects for 2014 crops despite below-average rainfall in some areas

Harvesting of the main 2014 maize crop is almost complete in northern areas and is well underway in the centre, while crops in southern regions, for harvest early next year, are in vegetative stage. According to satellite-based analysis, rainfall levels and vegetation conditions are favourable in most cropping areas following adequate rainfall, except in the western Bas Congo province and in parts of the southern Katanga province, were below-average rainfall was received and signs of agricultural stress were recorded.

Earlier in the year, the secondary season maize crops received below-average rainfall in several provinces of the Centre/East and in the northern Equateur province. However, by the third dekad of April, immediately before the start of harvesting operations, the FAO satellite-based Agricultural Stress Index (ASI) indicated favourable vegetation conditions in most cropping areas.

Inflation increased in 2014 but still very low compared to recent years

Inflation, which stood at 46 percent in 2009, fell to 1 percent in 2013 as a result of the implementation of economic reform and tight fiscal and monetary policies. In 2014, the inflation rate increased to 2.4 percent due to a slight loosening of monetary policy and sustained demand.

Civil conflict and recent floods in eastern and southern parts limit access to food

Persistent insecurity in eastern provinces continues to restrict access to land and agricultural inputs, limiting households’ productive capacity. In addition, since early October, heavy rains in these areas caused floods which affected thousands of people, exacerbating the already precarious food security situation.

According to the latest available Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) food security analysis, conducted in June 2014 in the conflict-affected eastern provinces (Orientale, Maniema, North And South Kivu, Katanga), the number of people in acute food insecurity and livelihood crisis (IPC Phase 3: “Crisis” and Phase 4: “Humanitarian Emergency”) was estimated at about 4.1 million, 8 percent up from the December 2013 figure.

In these areas, the escalation of civil conflict since 2013 severely damaged local livelihood systems and caused massive displacement.

As of late September 2014, the IDP caseload was estimated at more than 2.7 million, 4 percent up from the estimate in June 2013. The IDPs are mainly located in conflict-affected Oriental, Maniema, North Kivu, South Kivu and Katanga provinces.

Since July, North Kivu is experiencing a resurgence of violence in Beni, Walikale, and Lubero territories which has resulted in gender-based violence, kidnapping, looting and widespread displacement. According to OCHA, the newly-displaced people in the third quarter of 2014 (July-September) alone were estimated at 68 200 people, more than double than the previous quarter.

According to UNHCR, around 80 percent of the IDPs are hosted by families and communities. This is a huge challenge for host communities who are already facing chronic poverty, limited livelihood opportunities, social services (health, sanitation, education) and are likely to be further push into unsustainable coping mechanisms and livelihood strategies.

In addition, as of 7 November, DRC was hosting about 22 200 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) which sought refuge mainly in the northern Equateur and Oriental Provinces after the escalation of conflict in January 2014.This brings the total number of refugees from CAR residing in DRC to about 68 000.

In response, in late 2013, the international community launched the 2014 Strategic Response Plan. The food security cluster, led by FAO and WFP, planned 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.

On 4 November 2014, heavy rains in the Oriental province caused the Aruwimi River to overflow, causing floods which affected over 10 000 people. On 25 and 28 October, floods and landslides in Kahele territory, South Kivu, resulted in severe and widespread damage to infrastructure and houses and left thousands homeless. An assessment mission is underway to estimate the number of people affected and assess the most urgent needs.

On 4 October, about 2 000 people in five localities of Masisi territory, North Kivu affected were affected by floods that inundated at least 400 hectares of crops ready for harvest. This has raised serious food security concerns in addition to the violent storms on 2 and 3 October in Bukama territory, Katanga province, that left 4 500 people homeless.







Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 As of Oct 2014, included in the list of "Countries Requiring External Assistance for Food"
 Cereal Supply/Demand Balance Sheet
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Maps
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2000, 1998
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles