AFRICA/DR CONGO - The Bishops: 770,000 children under 5 years of age risk hunger in Kasai

Wednesday, 27 June 2018 bishops   armed groups   mulnutrition   famine  

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - More than 770,000 children under the age of five suffer from severe malnutrition in the center of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is what the Bishops of Kasai denounce on the basis of statistics recently published by UNICEF. The Bishops underline that insecurity and the violence linked to the guerrilla movement that refers to Kamuina Nsapu, have provoked a very serious humanitarian crisis in the area.
The dioceses concerned are the archdiocese of Kananga and the dioceses of Luiza, Luebo and a part of the diocese of Mweka. During their pastoral visits, the local Bishops personally witnessed the humanitarian drama and the state of serious malnutrition of the populations. "The phenomenon (of malnutrition) is clearly visible in the territories of Dibaya, Dimbelenge, in the same city of Kananga as well as in the territory of the Kazumba, between the dioceses of Luiza and Luebo. In Kananga, various parishes welcome malnourished children", said His Exc. Mgr. Marcel Madila, Archbishop of Kananga. Mgr. Madila has launched an appeal for "an urgent and massive intervention, because a difficult period, the dry season is about to begin. If the children are not assisted now, we risk having thousands of deaths".
The Focal Point of Kasai of Caritas Congo is working closely with the 8 diocesan Caritas of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kananga to prepare a response plan for this crisis, the effects of which will probably be worse than the Ebola epidemic. "Malnutrition is destined to worsen with the start of the dry season, a period during which there is usually a lack of food in families", said Emmanuel Mbuna, national coordinator of the emergency department of Caritas Congo. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/6/2018)