Pope Francis in DR Congo: WFP highlights Africa’s biggest hunger crisis Geopolitics News

Pope Francis in DR Congo: WFP highlights Africa’s biggest hunger crisis

Millions of Congolese face severe food insecurity, particularly in the northeast, where fighting has uprooted millions. As part of his three-day visit to the DRC, the pope is expected to meet families displaced by the conflict in the east.

This impressive number includes more than half a million people uprooted from their homes in recent monthsthe United Nations World Food Programme, WFP has warned.

To help them, the UN agency has appealed to the international community for more than $627 million to fund vital humanitarian aid this year.

Corruption exposed

In a personal appeal, Pope Francis reportedly urged young Congolese to work for a better future and avoid corruption, his Italian remarks translated into French for those gathered at the 80,000-seat Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa.

“You are part of a bigger story, one that calls you to play an active role as a builder of communion, a champion of fellowship, an indomitable dreamer of a more united worldsaid the pontiff, while urging listeners never to succumb “to the persuasive but poisonous temptations of corruption.”

Severe hunger affects one in four people

In 2022, WFP assisted 5.4 million of the most vulnerable people in DR Congo with food and nutrition assistance, focusing on women and children affected by the conflict.

But the needs are immense in this central African country, where more than 26 million people face severe famine, more than a quarter of its total population.

I saw first hand that this country has so much potential to produce food for its people and provide jobs for young people,” said WFP DRC Country Director and Representative Peter Musoko.

He expressed the hope that the pope’s visit will help shed light on the plight of millions of starving people in the central African country, for whom the WFP is sometimes “the only bulwark against catastrophic food insecurity”.

“With an ongoing emergency and limited resources, we call on the international community to $627.3 million in 2023,” Mr. Musoko said.

A 14-year-old boy is in hospital under the supervision of his aunt. The family was attacked by armed men in March 2022 in their village, near Bunia.

Goma Shelter

Some of those displaced by the violence in north-eastern DR Congo have found assistance from WFP and its partners, as well as shelter in the makeshift Kanyaruchinya camp outside the provincial capital, Goma.

This is where destitute farmer Dorati Ndagisa now lives with her five children after armed groups were driven from her farm in eastern North Kivu province.

His fate is mirrored by many othersresult of chronic unrest related to the 1998-2003 conflict over precious commodities that involved up to eight regional neighbours, and spawned more than 100 armed groups that now terrorize communities in eastern DR Congo.

“I used to be a farmer and had a stable life,” said Ms Ndagisa, who once farmed beans and potatoes in the village of Rugari, 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) away. “Since the war, I have nothing and I don’t know how to feed my children.”

Pope Francis in DR Congo: WFP highlights Africa’s biggest hunger crisis

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