Food Coalition

Revised humanitarian response Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been facing chronic challenges linked to poverty, food insecurity, lack of access to basic services, armed conflict and insecurity, epidemics (cholera, Ebola virus disease [EVD], measles and malaria) and population displacement.

Following the first reported case of COVID-19 in the country (March 2020), the Government declared a state of emergency and several urgent and essential measures were put in place, such as the closure of borders, the partial lockdown of Kinshasa with movement restrictions, and the closure of all schools. These restrictive measures were necessary but have affected a country that was already fragile, further exacerbating peoples’ vulnerabilities.

Given the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s significant reliance on imports (e.g. of cereals), the closure of borders, movement restrictions, and disruptions in local and global supply chains, have resulted in the increase of prices, and reduced availability of and access to food and non-food items. This has also caused households to be unable to generate income especially within the agriculture sector and has reduced their purchasing power, thereby increasing the adoption of negative coping mechanisms (e.g. the consumption of seeds, selling productive assets, etc.).

Physical access to markets has been challenging in most parts of the country, with over 60 percent of roads damaged and/or blocked, directly affecting the transportation and marketing of agricultural products. Market restrictions have also affected farmers’ access to crop, livestock and fishing inputs. Moreover, the health-related restrictions have affected casual workers’ ability to access agricultural fields, with an estimated 40 percent of the poorest populations dependent on casual labour to generate income.

Movement and border restrictions have impacted the transhumance patterns of pastoralists. In the eastern part of the country, transhumance is already affected by the escalation of conflict and a recent increase in EVD cases.

Across the country, vulnerable households are at high risk of further deterioration of their food security. Over 520 000 refugees and about 5 million internally displaced persons with already limited resources are clearly at risk and in need of urgent assistance. Based on the latest IPC analysis, the most at-risk provinces are Ituri, Kasai, Central Kasai, North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika.

Priority Areas of work: Global Humanitarian Response Plan
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 5. Gender Equality, 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Level: Country
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Budget: USD 75.8 million

Action Sheet:  DRC_CB0181EN.pdf

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