WFP's operational scale-up in six conflict-affected provinces is on track. Between January and November, WFP reached 5 million people, 90 percent of the 5.4 million targeted for food and nutrition assistance in 2018.
The Ebola outbreak has possibly claimed more than 330 lives in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. WFP is providing food and nutrition assistance and supporting the overall response with logistics, aviation, and information and communications technology.
The humanitarian landscape in DRC has been rendered more complicated by a near doubling of the number of acutely food insecure people between 2017 and 2018 � to 13.1 million � another Ebola outbreak, the precipitous return of some 380,000 of its nationals from Angola, increased disruption by armed groups and tensions in the run-up to presidential and legislative elections which were originally planned for 23 December but were later postponed.
The results of the 16th Integrated Phase Classification (IPC), which were announced by the Minister of Agriculture on 6 December, showed that 13.1 million Congolese live in IPC phase 3 (crisis) or phase 4 (emergency). Several factors explain this alarming trend. First, there is a domestic food production deficit of 20 percent. Second, because of conflict and violence, farmers are displaced and lose crops and assets. Third, deepening poverty and diminishing agricultural yields lead to poor diets and nutritional deficiencies.
Insecurity: On 17 December, a WFP driver was tragically shot and killed in North Kivu, following an ambush by three unidentified armed men in civilian clothes. The armed men thereafter broke the windows of the WFP vehicle and robbed the three other WFP staff members on board.
In North Kivu, one Tanzanian and six Malawian MONUSCO peacekeepers were killed on 15 November during a joint operation by MONUSCO and government troops, against the Allied Democratic Forces in Beni. Ten other peacekeepers were wounded.
In parts of South Kivu, sporadic clashes between government forces and armed groups restricted humanitarian access. As a result, more than 100,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees and host families could not be given food assistance. WFP continued distributions to IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host families in more accessible locations in the province.
Food insecurity: Evidence of deep food insecurity is the estimated 4.6 million children who are malnourished, 2.2 million of them severely malnourished. DRC has a serious food deficit of 7 million tons, putting more than 20 million people at risk of hunger.
Source: World Food Programme