As Escalating Conflict Displaces 2.4 Million People in Democratic Republic of Congo, Action Against Hunger Warns of Imminent Hunger Crisis

Families Face Widespread Malnutrition
Mar 27, 2024 2:00 PM ET

March 27, 2024 /3BL/ - Escalating conflict in the province of North Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has displaced 2.4 million people and created an imminent risk of a severe hunger crisis, according to Action Against Hunger, a nonprofit leader working to end hunger for good. In February alone, more than 240,000 people fled to the city of Goma, often arriving malnourished and seeking safety in displacement camps and informal sites ill-equipped to support the estimated 600,000 people who are now there.

As United Nations Security Council members gather today, Action Against Hunger urges them to ensure respect for U.N. Resolution 2417, which condemns the use of hunger as a weapon of war and requires parties in conflict to facilitate humanitarian access to those in need.

In defiance of international law, the increase in fighting in North Kivu has been characterized by:

  • Indiscriminate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure.
  • Militarization of camps for internally displaced people (IDPs).
  • Movement restrictions on the main supply routes, preventing the delivery of food, essential goods, and humanitarian assistance.

“Since the upsurge of conflict, the nutrition situation of children coming to Action Against Hunger health facilities in Lushagala has worsened. Since November, we have admitted quadruple the number of severely malnourished children under five years old, receiving up to 10 new cases per day,” explained Florian Monnerie, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in DRC.

Across North Kivu, more than 2.4 million people have fled the violence, leaving behind what little they had. Displaced for days, weeks or months at a time, civilians are left with limited options to grow or buy food. Fighting and blockades are preventing humanitarian organizations from providing much needed assistance, further exacerbating the risk of a severe hunger crisis.

“Action Against Hunger, along with other humanitarian organizations, urgently calls for the cessation of hostilities and for respect for international humanitarian law, allowing for civilians to be protected and for the safe delivery of neutral, impartial aid to people most in need. Immediate action is needed to further prevent the loss of life,” said Monnerie.

Action Against Hunger is committed to providing lifesaving assistance in DRC, including nutrition and medical care, water, hygiene, sanitation, and psychosocial support. The organization has worked in DRC since 1997 and has programs across North Kivu and displacement sites in Goma.

About Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger leads the global movement to end hunger. We innovate solutions, advocate for change, and reach 28 million people every year with proven hunger prevention and treatment programs. As a nonprofit that works across 55 countries, our 8,900 dedicated staff members partner with communities to address the root causes of hunger, including climate change, conflict, inequity, and emergencies. We strive to create a world free from hunger, for everyone, for good.


Photos by Alexis Huguet and Olivia Acland