Improving the food and nutrition security of internally displaced persons, returnees and the local population

Project description

Title: Improving the social and productive livelihoods of IDPs, returnees and the local population in Kalemie Territory, Katanga
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Agriculture et du Développement rural (MADR)
Overall term: 2014 to 2017


War, ongoing crises and insecurity have led to an almost total destruction of infrastructure and economic cycles in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The humanitarian crisis is resulting in a large number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). In Kalemie Territory in particular, the influx of IDPs has made the situation precarious.

The government is not able to fulfil its basic functions. Local administrative structures are unable to cope with the task of integrating IDPs, refugees and returnees. The longstanding conflict has made it virtually impossible for the population to make use of its development potential. Young people who have grown up during the war have not received education. Likewise, many people in the region have very little or no income at all and therefore not enough food. They lack secure access to land and the agricultural means of production, such as tools, seeds, flour mills, mechanical presses and breeding animals, which are needed to raise the extremely low level of production in traditional subsistence farming.

There is hardly any incentive to increase production, sell any surplus, or create alternative income-generating opportunities which could enhance food and nutrition security. Currently the population is not harnessing the potential for agricultural production in a way which could stabilise the food supply. The lack of awareness about a diversified and balanced diet is intensifying the problem. Meanwhile, the government lacks expertise and resources to positively influence a development towards stable food and nutrition security.


The food and nutrition security of IDPs, returnees and the local population in the supported communities of Kalemie Territory is improved.


The project contributes to improving the critical food situation in the project region. Support is provided in equal measure to IDPs, returnees and the host communities. A special focus is placed on providing activities for the large number of young people, who are particularly at risk due to the lack of prospects for the future and a widespread problem of unemployment. All measures aim to improve food and nutrition security in the medium term. These include:

  • Increasing agricultural yields for households;
  • Improving eating habits by raising awareness of the benefits of a diversified and balanced diet;
  • Improving access to drinking water by repairing or installing water points; and
  • Raising the income of households, and young people in particular, by providing training and networking in the agriculture, crafts and trades, and small business sectors.


Increased production of basic foodstuffs as well as the growing of vegetables in kitchen gardens is helping to improve food and nutrition security. Fish farming has become an accepted practice, which not only provides an extra source of income for households, but also adds to the range of food available, thereby contributing to food security and more varied eating habits.

Women have the same access to activities as men. Courses focusing on basic reading and writing skills in particular, but also training in agricultural techniques and good food and hygiene practices, are encouraging more women to get involved and are furthermore promoting their independence.