USAID/DRC Fact Sheet - Food for Peace

Despite a wealth of natural resources and enormous agricultural potential, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faces serious food security challenges. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) estimates that national food production is currently 30 to 40 percent below national consumption. The country has very low agricultural productivity, high levels of animal and plant diseases, frequent flooding, isolated agricultural production areas, high population pressure and land conflicts limiting access to land. Abysmal infrastructure – roads, storage facilities, and markets – further exacerbate food insecurity. In addition, ongoing armed conflict in parts of eastern DRC continues to generate additional displacement and obstruct humanitarian access. As a result, an estimated 6.5 million people in the DRC were experiencing acute food insecurity according to WFP estimates in December 2014.
USAID's Office of Food for Peace (FFP) addresses emergency food security and recovery needs and invests in longer term programs to improve food security and nutrition in many communities in eastern DRC. 
FFP and its partners meet the immediate food needs of internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, households hosting the displaced, and other vulnerable populations in Orientale, North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, East and West Kasai, and Equateur. Emergency food assistance is provided using U.S.-produced Title II in-kind food, locally or regionally procured food, and/or vouchers to purchase foods from local vendors. With this flexible approach, FFP is able to use the most efficient, appropriate tools to maximize program impact and reduce costs. To reduce preventable maternal and child deaths, FFP partners with the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition and works with multiple partners to help conflict-affected households rebuild and restore livelihoods following crises.   
FFP longer-term development activities reduce the food insecurity of vulnerable households by promoting improved natural resource management and agricultural production techniques, increasing agricultural production and incomes, and promoting farmers’ integration with the market. FFP activities also improve water and sanitation, support good health and nutrition practices, and reduce chronic malnutrition that results in the stunting of children’s physical growth. FFP development activities work in conjunction with other Mission economic growth and health programs.
  • FFP saved over $4 million in transport and storage costs by purchasing food commodities locally in the DRC. The cost savings enabled FFP to support a larger number of food insecure households.  
  • FFP and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance jointly funded a number of emergency programs to save program costs and provide complete package of humanitarian assistance to newly displaced or returnee populations.  
  • FFP has created a critical knowledge base about food in security in DRC, including market and trade flows of staple commodities and livelihood zoning, through the USAID Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).
  • FFP provides financial support to strengthen the food security cluster.  This assistance will enable the sector to establish a common set of assessment tools and greater uniformity in providing immediate food assistance as well as agricultural support through the provision of seeds and tools.
  • FFP is providing financial assistance to a new Special Operation of WFP to fund key infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges in order to facilitate humanitarian access. FFP is providing additional resources to two development partners to respond to the early recovery needs of internally displaced persons in their areas of operation.
  • Communities in Walungu Territory in South Kivu converted over 900 hectares of former swamp land to productive agricultural fields for over 13,000 vulnerable households in the 39 surrounding villages.
Emergency Food Assistance:
Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO)
Treatment of Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Emergency Food Security Program
Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED)
Emergency Response and Economic Recovery for Eastern DRC
Samaritan’s Purse
Displaced and Recent Returnee Households Invite Recovery in Eastern DRC (DRIVE)
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Development Food Assistance:
Tuendelee Pamoja (Moving Forward Together)
Food for the Hungry, Search for Common Ground
Jenga Jamaa II (Building the Strength of Communities II)
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), World Vision and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Resources to Improve Food Security in Eastern Congo (RISE)
Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services (CRS)