The Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC) is a lush country of rainforests, hills, and mountains. It’s home to gorillas, the white rhinoceros, elephants, and giraffes.
Its natural beauty is matched by its wealth of natural resources, ranking it among the richest in those terms.
It’s therefore ironic that this beauty and bounty co-exist with one of the largest hunger crises in the world. The country has the greatest number of people in the world – 27 million – facing high levels of food insecurity.1 That is when people are without reliable access to enough affordable and nutritious food. To afford a little food, they must use crisis-coping strategies such as borrowing money or depleting assets. To stretch the food, families ration portion sizes or adults skip meals to leave more for their children.
This crisis didn’t happen overnight. Decades of conflict and political instability have crippled development, forcing millions to flee their homes and farmlands. The effects of conflict are compounded by an economic slump resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation.
This hunger crisis is part of a global one of unprecedented proportions that’s been brewing for nearly a decade. Thankfully, it’s beginning to capture the attention it deserves to jolt us into action.
What are we supposed to do about 27 million hungry people in the DRC, or an estimated 345 million hungry people2 in the world? The simple answer is, “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.” (Is. 58:10, NLT)
How can we save lives now and build a food-secure future, working towards hunger as a bad memory rather than an intolerable reality? We won’t achieve a zero-hunger world before Jesus returns. Nevertheless, isn’t it part of our calling to work towards that goal until He comes and accomplishes it fully?
With your support, ADRA’s working towards that goal. In the DRC, a new project funded by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) is preparing to bring 1,000 severely malnourished children therapeutic nutritional treatment. After completing this lifesaving treatment, they’ll receive a supplementary treatment to further support and strengthen their health. The project will also encourage mothers to breastfeed their children under two years old. Community-based programs will promote good dietary practices. This will save lives and fend off the irreversible consequences of malnourishment.
Families will also receive cash to empower them to buy sufficient food, pay off debts, or invest in livelihoods to sustain themselves. This project, along with two previous ones like it, will reach 22,000 people and their families.
In countries such as Kenya, Mozambique, and Nepal, ADRA projects funded by CFGB are teaching families to grow their own food and investing in livelihood development. Similar projects will begin soon in Sudan, Indonesia, and a country in South America.
It’ll take all of us pulling together to meet this crisis. Even then, it’ll take God’s blessings on our resources and efforts. But He’s promised us blessings. We can therefore be undaunted in “feeding the hungry and helping those in trouble.”