Contemporary Global Issue 3: Food Security In Congo

2218 words - 9 pages

The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast potential wealth - has declined drastically since the mid-1980s. Since 1996, the country has been cursed by conflict, which has devastated and destabilized the country and claimed the lives of an estimated 5 million civilians. People continue to live in crisis conditions in many parts of the country. The war, which began in August 1998, dramatically reduced national output and government revenue, increased external debt, and resulted in the deaths of perhaps 3.5 million people from violence, famine, and disease. Extraneous businesses curtailed operations due to uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, lack of infrastructure, and the difficult operating environment. Conditions improved in late 2002 with the withdrawal of a large portion of the invading foreign troops. The transitional governance has opened up relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President Kabila has begun implementing reforms. Much economic activity lies outside the GDP data. Economic stability improved in 2003-2005, although an uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of openness in government policy continues to hamper growth. In 2005, renewed activity in the mining sector and the source of most exports boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth. Business and economic prospects are expected to improve once a new government is installed after elections. Successive armed conflicts in the Republic of Congo over the last decade have had a highly detrimental effect on food production because of the destruction of infrastructure and problems of market access. Some local food is therefore very expensive, and access to the food necessary for an adequate diet for the poor is very limited (UN-OHRLLS 2005).
In order for us to be on the same track, Food security can be measured at the national, household and individual level. Measuring food security at the national level entails determining the amount of food available in the country and the extent to which it provides the recommended minimum calorie intake per person per day (Safiliou-Rothschild, 2001). Using the national food balance sheets, which contain statistics on agricultural and industrial production and trade, changes in stocks, agricultural and industrial usage within a country, information is obtained on supply and availability of foods. Total energy available for consumption is obtained by adding total energy produced, energy imported and change in stock minus energy exported, energy wasted and energy used for other than human consumption (Habicht, et al., 2004). This paper will tackle the recent situations on food security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the problems faced by the country and millions of its poor citizens, the responses concerning the government and the world organizations that protect the welfare of these people, an evaluation of the...

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