1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. DRC

WFP suspends food aid to northern province

Country Map - DRC (Provinces - Equateur, Kasai Orientale)
The refuges have returned to their homes in Equateur province (IRIN)

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) suspended food aid on Friday to vulnerable people in Gbadolite and Businga, in the northern province of Equateur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, an official told IRIN.

WFP's deputy representative, Jose Pita-Gros, said that the measure was taken because local residents had stolen 320 mt of food meant for the vulnerable. They had been stored in a local NGO's warehouse for distribution.

"We have told the Congolese authorities that we can no longer send more aid to the north while our products cannot be secured," he said.

Pita-Gros said the entire food consisted of maize flour, beans, vegetable oil, sugar and salt had been stolen. He said some residents had sold the items to traders for resale in the larger towns.

WFP spokesman Aline Samu said that 2,400 vulnerable people were targeted in Businga for humanitarian aid, among them 2,000 pygmy head of households who had come out of the forest in a pitiful state.

"WFP has been helping so that they could resume their traditional survival mechanisms," Samu said.

In addition to these pygmy families, she said, WFP was supplying food for 200 malnourished children and an equal number of other vulnerable people in pygmy communities. Pregnant women, street children and orphans were also to benefit.

In November 2003, 12,600 displaced people benefited from this kind of aid.

Pita-Gros said vulnerable people in Businga and Gbadolite could suffer from the complete disruption of supplies. He said it could take another two months to replenish the stock by bringing supplies along the River Congo, 1,200 km from the WFP base in the nation’s capital, Kinshasa. WFP is providing food aid for 1.5 million people across the country.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.