The complex emergency in the Kasai region began in August 2016 with the violent uprising of a local militia called the Kamuina Nsapu. Since then, heavy clashes with the FARDC and have caused indiscriminate violence against civilians and forced massive population displacements. Access remains a challenge and lack of infrastructure is a general problem across the country, particularly in the Kasai.
WFP’s current PRRO 200832 neither foresees food assistance interventions in the Kasai, nor preparedness activities in the Kasai. However, the level of preparedness in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) already has a solid Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2017, which is based on the most likely scenario for multiple sub-crises of four types including armed conflict.
According to OCHA, more than one million people are currently displaced in the Kasai. The humanitarian situation could soon worsen due to the gradual shift in the crisis, marked by the fragmentation of militias, the intensification of violence against civilians, and the growing importance of intercommunity conflict dynamics. In this context of violence and displacements of the population, the protection of civilians is of great concern.
WFP is not represented in the Kasai, and will deploy staff from the country office to respond to the initial phases of the crisis. A dedicated emergency coordinator is required to mobilize to Kasai to lead the initial response. If required, additional staff could be deployed to the Kasai from the country office. In terms of partner capacity, FAO and UNICEF, as well as several national and international NGO, have offices in the Kasai. WFP does not have stocks of MSU to cater for a first response in the Kasai.
Population movements are taking place in an area where the food security situation is already weakened by many decades of armed conflicts and populations’ displacements. The food security assessments conducted by WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture in May 2016 in the Kasai show that up to 42% households are food insecure. The high proportions of households with poor and borderline food consumption indicate the precarious household food security situation in this area.
In this context, the requested funds will enable WFP to quickly augment storage capacity for the initial food response.
The funds will also enable WFP to conduct food security and vulnerability assessments, as well as market assessments for rapid response to a possible return of the population to their areas of origin. The IR-PREP will have a duration of 3 months starting from July 2017.