Malnutrition in a land of plenty. Key findings from research in East Kasai province, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Briefing).

In a fertile and agriculturally productive region in the Democratic Republic of Congo, why is it that half of all children are chronically malnourished? Child hunger and undernutrition is a persistent problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite its lush hills and valleys. One out of ten children under five suffers from acute malnutrition, and child stunting has reached a staggering rate of 50%.
Tackling children’s undernutrition is vital to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) nationally and globally, particularly the targets for MDG 1 (to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), MDG 4 (to reduce child mortality) and MDG 5 (to improve maternal health). This study seeks to gain a deeper understanding of people’s livelihoods in the DRC’s East Kasai province, in order to explore the reasons behind such high rates of child undernutrition in what is an agriculturally productive region. This summary presents our key findings, and concludes with recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners about how to tackle children’s undernutrition and improve household food security in the province.

Published 2011-05-10