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Reference Date: 25-January-2015

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Good 2014 crop production expected despite some below-average rainfall in some areas

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

  3. Persisting civil conflict and recent floods negatively impact on food security conditions

Good 2014 cereal output expected

The harvest of the main 2014 season maize crops is nearly complete in central regions, while in southern parts harvesting activities are underway and are expected to be finalized in February 2015. According to remote sensing analysis, adequate rains were received in most parts of the country, reflected in generally average vegetation conditions during the main cropping season that began in June 2014 in northern provinces. As a result, a good 2014 cereal production is expected.

Small increase in 2014 inflation rate, 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 approximately 2 percent due to a slight loosening of monetary policy and sustained demand. The favourable 2014 cereal production is expected to help ease inflationary pressure in 2015, with the annual inflation rate decreasing to 1.4 percent in January.

Persisting civil conflict continues to limit food access

Persistent insecurity in eastern provinces continues to restrict access to land and agricultural inputs, limiting households’ productive capacity.

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 experienced a resurgence of violence in Beni, Walikale, and Lubero territories which has resulted in 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, putting added strain on host communities’ resources, 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 2014, the international community launched the 2015 Strategic Response Plan. The food security cluster, led by FAO and WFP, planned to assist 2.5 million beneficiaries for a total cost of USD 182 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, including 8 000 left without shelter. Floods and landslides in Kahele territory, South Kivu, in late 2014 also resulted in severe and widespread damage to infrastructure and houses and left thousands homeless. The heavy rains also negatively affected 2 000 people in five localities of Masisi territory, North Kivu, causing crop losses.



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