KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has caused high levels of food insecurity and prompted the launch of a program to support farmers.
The Vienna-based International Committee of the Red Cross is working with its partners, the Red Cross Society of DR Congo and the World Food Program, to support the hundreds of thousands of local citizens who have been forced to flee the violence in the east of the country. The displaced citizens also have been forced to flee their agricultural land and tools, which has caused widespread food insecurity.
"Access to land and markets is the decisive factor that allows people to fend for themselves," Manuel Duce Marques, an ICRC nutritionist, said in a statement.
"Not only have they lost their most essential possessions, but they have also had to move ever farther away from areas of agricultural production in search of safety."
Problems over the availability of food to sustain the local population in DR Congo have prompted the ICRC to begin distributing seeds and tools for an estimated 60,000 farmers in the volatile North Kivu province, the ICRC reported.