According to report released by UNICEF more than 700.000 children under 5 year of age suffer from acute malnutrition. UNICEF is urging to provide assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Kasai region.
The UN is appealing for funds to avert a growing humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) Kasai region where more than 750,000 children are facing starvation.
According to a report released by the United Nations agency for Children (UNICEF) on Friday at least 770,000 children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition in the region.
Speaking in Geneva, UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac said that UNICEF had appealed for $88 million to provide assistance in Kasai, but that so far only about 25 percent of the funding had been received. This, he said, was far from sufficient.
In 2016, the region was beset by the worst violence in decades as fighting broke out between the army and the Kamuina Nsapu militia, forcing an estimated 1.5 million from their homes. Some 5,000 people died in the conflict.
Many fled the region, leaving without barely anything and leaving them without food. The guns have since fallen silent, but food insecurity remains high as farmers have been unable to plant their crops for the past two seasons because of the fighting that saw their fields pillaged.
As hundreds of thousands of civilians are now returning home, hunger and disease are eclipsing guns and machetes as the region's most prolific killers.
"We have now children coming back from the bush after months of violence in a very bad nutritional situation. We think that 770,000 children suffer from acute malnutrition, including 400,000 children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition. A child suffering from severe acute malnutrition is a child who might die at any time, they are very very fragile. These are not new numbers, but it is extremely serious to see that the funds are not here," said Boulierac.
"I am actually very shocked by what I saw and what I heard in Kasai. I visited several hospitals, where children were treated for complications of severe acute malnutrition, these children were struggling to survive, and I came back to the same hospital three days later. Within three days, I saw that some children had died, and that new mothers had arrived with children who did not look in good condition at all, that were malnourished."