In the eastern DRC, the UN World Food
Program is one of the agencies continuing humanitarian operations for hundreds
of thousands of people who’ve been displaced. However, there’s concern about
possible food shortages in the coming months.
Farrell is a spokesman for the WFP. From Goma, he gave VOA English to Africa
Service reporter Joe De Capua an update on food distribution.
operations here are going according to plan at this point. They foresee
fulfilling most of their needs, most of their requirements. But over a six
month period in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, they’re
look at a shortfall of about 17,000 tons (of food) per month. Right now, total
needs…are about 104,000, And right now in the pipeline we have about 82,000
metric tons,” he says.
says that it appears the shortfall is due to a lack of funding for WFP
operations. “The funding needs here are really vast. And as much as they’re getting, it’s not
really quite matching up,” he says.
WFP and other agencies had airlifted emergency food supplies to the far
northeastern town of Dungu, which had been recently attacked by LRA rebels from
Uganda. ‘That initial airlift was completed about a week ago. That is only intended
to feed the people in the town of Dungu and immediately around the perimeter of
Dungu, going out about 10 kilometers. What is really going to increase that
need will occur in the coming month or so when they want to extend the food
distribution area further north and east towards the borders of Sudan and
Uganda. That is going to be a little bit of a logistical problem because of
getting adequate airlift. So, right now, plans are in the works, but no
decisions have been made about a series of large land convoys, plus airlifts
into the area,” he says.
the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, is helping to provide security to the
Dungu operations, but it’s limited to a 10 kilometer radius around the town.
Another problem facing food
distribution in the Dungu area is the ongoing multi-country military operation
being waged against the LRA rebels. “So at this point it’s pretty hot up in
that area between Dungu and the borders of Sudan and Uganda,” he says.