GIEWS Country Briefs

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

Reference Date: 25-April-2016


  1. Good start of 2016 cropping season

  2. Inflation rates forecast to slightly increase in 2016

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

Good start of 2016 cropping season

In southern-most unimodal rainfall areas, harvesting of the 2016 maize crops is currently underway and will be completed in May, while in central/southern and northern bi‑modal rainfall areas the 2016 secondary season maize crops will be harvested from May and June, respectively. According to remote sensing analysis, vegetation conditions in the first dekad of April were generally favourable (see ASI map).

Inflation rates forecast to slightly increase in 2016

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 1.6 percent in 2016, due to a relatively strong economic growth and a loosening fiscal policy, which is expected to boost domestic demand.

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 December 2015, the IDP caseload was estimated at 1.5 million, with about 41 and 22 percent of the displaced population located in North Kivu and South Kivu, respectively. Following fighting between Government forces and armed groups on 25 and 26 March, about 30 000 individuals were displaced in North Kivu Province. Most of them were residing in refugee camps before the fighting broke out.

Moreover, DRC hosts refugees from CAR and Burundi: as of late March, their number was estimated at 113 000 and 22 000, respectively.

According to UNHCR, around 1.2 million IDPs are hosted by families and communities, putting added strain on host communities’ resources, 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.

Furthermore, the torrential rains received since October 2015, linked to the strong El Niño episode, have resulted in floods that affected about 700 000 individuals and damaged about 5 500 hectares of crop land. Destruction of food stocks has also been reported. The most affected areas are Maniema Province in the East, Mongala (Equateur Province) in the Northwest, Orientale Province in the Northeast and Katanga Province in the South.

The widespread floods exacerbated the incidence of water‑borne diseases including cholera: between January and March, over 5 700 cases of cholera have been reported, 25 percent more than the caseload estimated in the same period last year.

In Katanga, the already precarious food situation has been recently compounded by the decision taken in early April by the authorities of neighbouring Zambia (which is experiencing drought‑related cereal shortages) to ban the export of maize and maize products. Although the restriction was lifted a week later, the volume of maize and maize products crossing into DRC has yet to recover to pre‑ban levels, thus causing shortages in the country's south east.

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.

Relevant links:
 As of Jun 2016, 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
 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

Email this article Print     Subscribe FAO GIEWS RSS Subscribe GIEWS RSS Share this article  Share it

GIEWS   global information and early warning system on food and agriculture