"Campaign to End Starvation in the Congo" Launches As Historic Election Nears

Action Against Hunger Sees Hope of Ending World's Most Neglected Humanitarian Crisis

Action Against Hunger, a world leader in the fight against hunger, is launching a "Campaign to End Starvation in the Congo" on the eve of the Democratic Republic of Congo's first multiparty elections in more than 40 years. Action Against Hunger hopes the election will herald a new era of peace and stability in a country emerging from a decade-long civil war, where 1,200 people continue to die every day in what has been called the "Most Neglected Humanitarian Crisis" on earth.

“The Congolese are a strong people and have a beautiful, fertile country with many natural resources,” said Cathy Skoula, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger.“The good news is that this long war was not over ethnic or religious hatred—so coordinated relief can build a sustainable economy. The bad news is that this nation of 60 million has been destroyed by the war, leaving no roads, four million dead, three million displaced, and tens of millions malnourished. The ballot alone will not bring bread to the people of the Congo. To rebuild this country, millions need both a hand up from starvation’s door and the economic tools to feed themselves in the future. This is why international humanitarian relief is more important now than ever.”

Action Against Hunger has been active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) throughout the chaos and war of the past decade. The organization operates some of the most effective therapeutic feeding centers in the world, where severely malnourished people, mostly children, are renewed to health in just 30 days. Beyond emergencies, their development programs in water and sanitation, food security, nutrition, and health care ensure that families regain their self-sufficiency over the long-term.

Action Against Hunger's 300-person field staffprovides direct assistance to some 400,000 Congolese in both eastern and western Congo, ensuring that needed relief reaches the most vulnerable populations.

Reached in the Congolese field office of Kivu, Thierry Laurent-Badin, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in Eastern Congo, observed, “With greater stability, ACF will be able to expand its’ efforts to provide sustainable sources of food, clean water, sanitation and basic health care. The elections are only a first step to restoring the country’s stability, and the international community should not abandon this population afterwards. People are tired of war and want to rebuild their lives in peace, but they cannot do it alone.”

The Campaign to End Starvation in the Congo will significantly intensify and expand Action Against Hunger's decade-long work in the Congo, with the goal of doubling the number of people reached by its programs that provide therapeutic feeding, as well as sustainable access to food, clean water, sanitation and basic health care.