In response to the food security crisis in the DRC, the governments of Sweden and Switzerland have contributed US $300,000 and $320,000 respectively to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to assist thousands of families across the country, the FAO announced in a statement on Thursday.
The Swedish government contribution to FAO will be used to restart agricultural activities of some 15,000 households. In Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Mbuji Mayi 5,000 households will be targeted for participation in the cultivation of urban and peri-urban market gardens, while in Kasai Oriental, Kasai Occidental, Bandundu and Equateur provinces 10,000 households will be targeted to receive 5 mt of corn seed, 1.4 mt of soybean seeds and 300 kg of beans.
The Swiss government contribution to FAO will be used to provide seeds and fertiliser to some 370,000 households in North and South Kivu provinces and to coordinate emergency agricultural operations in the region. In addition to these distributions, the project will seek to establish permanent seed banks throughout the region in order to reduce dependence on FAO distributions as well as to establish a food reserve to lessen the impact of any fluctuations in future WFP food distributions. The FAO statement noted that the entire DRC has suffered from a significant decline in agricultural output due to ongoing conflict and displacement of populations.
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