260,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo

KINSHASA, UNICEF estimates that 260,000 children in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and need life-saving care. Thousands of Kasai children who fled with their families to the neighboring provinces of Kwilu and Kwango also suffer from malnutrition.

Due to violence and insecurity between 2016 and 2018, Kasai has been faced with large-scale population displacement, child rights violations and significant levels of child malnutrition. Although pockets of insecurity still exist today, thousands of families who have fled into the bush have now returned to their communities.

Over the last two years, UNICEF and its partners have treated 200,000 severely malnourished children in the Kasai region. To help children return to school, UNICEF rehabilitated 500 classrooms that had been burned or looted during the violence and assisted more than 100,000 children with psychosocial support and educational materials. UNICEF also supported more than 5,000 unaccompanied children and children associated with the militias and reintegrated them into their families and communities.

“We have worked tirelessly with our partners and local communities in the Kasai region to support the slow recovery process after years of conflict and violence that devastated children and families,” said Dr. Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC. “However, we are concerned that the recent results we have achieved for children are being lost because of this fragile situation, now that many people from Angola are returning to the region. “

The return of at least 300,000 Congolese from Angola puts additional pressure on health centers, schools and other basic services in Kasai. As a result, access to vital and vital services is compromised for many children.

Since 2017, UNICEF and its partners in KasaA� have:

Vaccinated nearly 4 million children against measles and yellow fever;

Organized access to basic health care for more than 163,000 people affected by conflict and epidemics;

Provided water, sanitation and hygiene kits to 900,000 people in cholera-affected areas, and provided over 500,000 people with access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. hygiene;

Guaranteed 78,000 children safe access to community spaces for socialization, games and learning;

Provided essential household items to nearly 150,000 people;

Reach over 6 million people with key messages to save lives.

Source: UN Children’s Fund