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Democratic Republic of Congo has highest levels of hunger in world, UN says

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 68.1%. 2 min read.

This photograph taken on January 21, 2021, shows dozens of makeshift shelters set-up by Central African refugees who fled Bangassou to Ndu, Bas-Uele Province, Democratic Republic of Congo. - In mid-January, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deployed in the northern DRC to assess and respond to the Central African refugee crisis. Since early January, more than 90,000 Central Africans have fled to neighboring Congo from fighting between the coalition of armed groups (CPC) seeking to overthrow newly re-elected President Faustin-Archange Touadera and national security forces backed by thousands of peacekeepers and Rwandan and Russian fighters. (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET / AFP) (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP via Getty Images)

For humanitarian agencies trying to keep people alive, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) presents multiple challenges: hunger, displacement, disease and violence.

(CNN)For humanitarian agencies trying to keep people alive, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) presents multiple challenges: hunger, displacement, disease and violence.

Nowhere in the world do more people need food assistance, according to a new study by two UN agencies.

More than 27 million people in the DRC -- one in three of the population - are affected by what the agencies call "high acute food insecurity. " That's up from 13 million in 2018.

Seven million people are now struggling to survive "emergency levels" of food insecurity, according to the analysis by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

The WFP says it is already providing life-saving food aid to 8. 7 million people in DRC.

"For the first time ever we were able to analyze the vast majority of the population, and this has helped us to come closer to the true picture of the staggering scale of food insecurity in the DRC," says Peter Musoko, WFP's representative in DRC.

Conflict is a key driver of this food insecurity in DRC, especially in the east of the country and in the central region of Kasais.

Aristide Ongone Obame, the FAO's representative in the country, says that "the recurring conflicts in eastern DRC and the suffering they bring remain of great concern. "

Part of the province has emergency levels of food insecurity.

In the face of these challenges, aid agencies are trying to provide emergency assistance and longer-term help.

The FAO says its priority this year is to improve farmers' access to tools and seeds; provide livestock and better storage for crops and help combat animal and plant diseases.

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