The humanitarian conditions in the conflict-ridden Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are rapidly deteriorating. There is now a deepening hunger crisis with an estimated 3.2 million people without reliable access to enough nutritious food.
According to the World Food Program, “Global Acute Malnutrition rates in children under 5 have reached 14 percent, well above the 10 percent emergency threshold.”
Almost 1.4 million people have been displaced within the Kasai region or have fled to neighboring Angola to escape the fighting, resulting in a very traumatized population.
In its most recent report on the situation in the DRC, the World Food Program stated that, “Most internally displaced families have now missed two consecutive planting seasons. Many of the most vulnerable now eat little more than a meal a day – typically just cassava root and leaves – that is lacking in protein, vitamins and minerals. Survival measures adopted by the displaced include begging, prostitution and the eating of seeds that should be planted.”
The United Nations launched a special humanitarian appeal for the Kasai region this year but it remains less the 50 percent funded. United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien recently stated that, “The humanitarian community has been working with significantly insufficient financial resources to deliver at the scale required. This is not just insufficient – it is unacceptable for the global community to leave this very real suffering of the Congolese people unaddressed – just because of a shortage of money.”
Our Presbyterian church partners in Congo are asking us to accompany them as they walk through this crisis.
Contact Secretary of State Tillerson and urge him to provide leadership in the international community and to press for the global community to fully fund the special humanitarian appeal for the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Contact your members of congress and urge them to press for US leadership to ensure full funding the United Nations special humanitarian appeal for the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.