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Congo, Republic Of

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WFP’s emergency operation provides monthly food rations to 115,000 Congolese who have fled fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Copyright:WFP/Marcus Prior
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WFP is currently implementing both relief and recovery activities in the Republic of Congo to improve food security and the socio-economic conditions of people affected by armed conflict and poverty. 

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The Republic of Congo has a young and mostly urban population with more than half of its 4.1 million inhabitants under 20 and 62.5% of the population living in cities. According to UNDP Human Development report of 2011, the Republic of Congo is counted among the middle income countries and ranks 137th on the Human Development Index. Regardless of this, the mortality rate for children under five is up to 128 per 1,000 live births and over half of the population is living below the poverty line. Only two percent of the country’s 10 million hectares of arable land are currently exploited; over 70% of all food needs in the country is imported, thus resulting in high food prices on the local market and huge dependence on the international markets. Congo is heavily endowed with natural resources such as oil, timber and minerals, coupled with favorable soil for agricultural production. However, successive waves of armed conflict for close to a decade left the agricultural infrastructure devastated and market access limited. According to the 2010 WFP Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment, more than one family in four has poor or limited food consumption in two departments (Lekoumou and Plateaux) and more than 10 percent of families suffer from food insecurity in another three departments – Cuvette, Pool and Niari. In March 2012, the explosion of a military arms depot in Mpila led to huge loss of lives and properties in the Capital, Brazzaville. This situation led to massive displacements around the city. An estimated 200,000 people were affected, 50,000 of whom were severely affected. WFP responded through a three-month emergency operation targeting 25,000 of the most vulnerable of the affected population. A Special Operation was also launched to boost the Government's capacity to respond to the emergency. Technical support was provided in the area of warehouse management through the installation of large storage tents and the provision of training and equipment for government staff. WFP runs 3 operations in the Republic of Congo: Assistance to refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo; School meals programme; and urban safety nets in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. The emergency and special operations were launched in response to the March 4, 2012 military arms depot explosion.

Threats to Food Security: 
  • Irregular crop yield
  • Decrease in livestock
  • High food prices
  • Low agricultural technologies
  • Plant diseases
  • Floods
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E-vouchers in Action
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On 4 December 2014, WFP in the Republic of Congo (RoC) celebrated the expansion of its Safety Net project to the rest of the Lekoumou Department in the south of RoC. Furthermore, WFP RoC is also excited to announce its partnership with a second national telecom company, Airtel, to provide voucher transfers to beneficiaries through mobile technology. WFP Country Director David Bulman, Deputy Director of Airtel Congo Mathieu Dutrisac, and the Minister of Social Affairs, Humanitarian Action and Solidarity (MASAHS) Madame Emilienne Raoul, talked to a diverse and very interested audience composed of 124 beneficiaries, mostly indigenous families, about the purpose and modalities of the Safety Net project. Learn more about RoC’s Safety Net and e-vouchers here.


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Facts and Figures
Equatorial forest in the north, and savannahas in the south
Food production: 
Cassava, plantain, coffee, sugarcane, cocoa, groundnuts, rice.
Annual harvest: 
Sept-Nov; Feb-Mar
Agricultural production (% of GDP): 
Human Development Index: 
Children under weight for age (% of children under 5): 
Population undernourished (% of total pop.): 
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Global hunger index - value: 
infant mortality rate per 1000 live birth - 2005 UNDP : 
Crisis Active: 
No Crisis