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“Quick and dirty” research in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo. Paul Foreman. Shamwana, Haut Katanga, April 2006. Dubie.

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quick and dirty research in katanga democratic republic of congo

“Quick and dirty” research in Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

Paul Foreman

Médecins sans Frontières


Shamwana, Haut Katanga, April 2006

Médecins sans Frontières



Médecins sans Frontières


“In the areas where MSF is working we have seen a total of 92,000 displaced who have fled their villages within the past year. They have sought refuge in Mitwaba, Mukubu, Dubie, Upemba, Kabangu, Lukuna, Kabalo and Pweto… In Dubie in particular, with the influx of more than 17,500 displaced persons at the time of writing, further land to cultivate is in short supply and food prices have rocketed…”

Running For Their Lives - Repeated Civilian Displacement in Central Katanga, DRC. January 2006, MSF

“We do not understand why the international aid community is only mobilized in areas with significant numbers of UN troops, like the Kivus, while people in Katanga are abandoned even in the face of desperate and growing needs… A dire situation is allowed to persist in Katanga… thousands of people suffering multiple displacements, direct violence by a variety of armed groups, malnutrition, and recurring outbreaks of preventable diseases. This reality has become so commonplace in many areas that it goes virtually unnoticed. We must all act to prevent this normalization of the unacceptable.”

Briefing to the United Nations Security Council, New York, February 2006, MSF

Médecins sans Frontières


WFP local DRC policy pre-March 2006 – a ration of 1,050Kcal per person per month for IDPs (because of the availability of alternative survival strategies)

  • WFP local representative ‘unable’ to propose increased ration without nutritional survey or similar objective evidence of malnutrition
  • UNICEF willing to fund ACF nutritional survey, but only if they follow the national protocol (30 X 30 cluster survey carried out simultaneously or contemporaneously in three adjoining health districts)

Médecins sans Frontières


Time Line for Dubie

  • Original influx of IDPs into Dubie – September to November 2005
  • MSF advocacy on specific problem of nutrition in Dubie started – October 2005
  • MSF report on Katanga – January 2006
  • MSF briefing to UNSC – February 2006
  • “WFP doesn’t see the need in Dubie – these people have ways to cope on wild food – increased rations are unnecessary” WFP, early March 2006
  • MSF writes to WFP (twice) & the UN demanding increased rations for the people of Dubie – early & mid March 2006
  • WFP “will not be able to ask HQ to increase food allocation to Dubie without objective evidence that the need is overwhelming”
  • UNICEF agrees to fund nutritional survey but timing is 6 to 8 weeks
  • MSF trains for, conducts and then releases results of nutritional survey in less than 2 weeks – 31st March 2006
  • WFP changes ration and starts air drops – 5th April 2006

Médecins sans Frontières

the conclusion of the nutritional survey report
The conclusion of the nutritional survey report:

Despite continuous lobbying for international assistance at the provincial, national and international levels including at the UN Security Council by MSF over the past few months, the populations of Dubie remain desperately neglected.

MSF has communicated both privately with WFP and publicly about the food insecurity in Dubie, and specifically, the inadequacy of the WFP ration. Despite this, there has not been a revision of the half-ration policy. A full monthly ration general food distribution to the IDPs of Dubie is needed now, and should include the logistical means necessary to manage and monitor it appropriately.

In the words of one woman: ‘I have nothing more to say. Just tell them that we are suffering from hunger’.

Médecins sans Frontières