Providing food security, nutrition, and hygiene through co-ops

Caritas International Belgium Providing food security, nutrition, and hygiene through co-ops
14/12/2017

Location:

The provinces of Kwilu, Kongo Central, Kwango, and Soth Kivu

Funding:

€ 2,621,180 (20% from Caritas International, 80% from DGD)

Duration:

5 years. From January 2017 to December 2021

Local partners:

Caritas Congo, diocesan Caritas partners, DGD

Caritas funds:

€ 524,236

Context: An untapped potential

The Democratic Republic of the Congo possesses enormous opportunities for growth in agriculture, livestock, fishing, and forestry. This potential is unfortunately untapped: hardly 10% of all available agricultural lands are in use. There is thus not enough food for its 70 million inhabitants. More than 70% of the population is malnourished or suffers from malnutrition. Furthermore, farmers have little income: their lands produce very little and they don’t have access to organized markets.

Objectives: Food security

Food security, food practices, and hygiene practices have considerably improved in the four provinces of DR Congo.

Concretely, this means that:

  • Co-ops have expanded their organizational and institutional skills. Thanks to their support, families have harvests of higher quality and greater diversity. Households feed themselves better, and their health improves thanks to better maternity and pediatric health services.
  • Co-ops have developed commercialization systems for the agricultural products and livestock of their members. Farmers are thus less dependent on large stakeholders in the market.

Actions: Co-Ops and Healthcare

Here are the actions that will be taken in support of co-ops:

  • Organizing and structuring pre-existing co-ops that are still in their early stages (training, infrastructure, legal awareness, property acquisition).
  • Guiding co-ops through commercializing their members’ agricultural products.
  • Developing a network of co-ops and private actors (shopkeepers, transporters, stockists, other co-ops, etc.) and getting access to governmental services.
  • Designing an information management system based on new communication and information technologies (data collection, texts, voice messages, etc.).

The promotion of healthcare for women and children will be accomplished through:

  • Raising awareness and providing information through the use of a health booklet for prenatal consultations.
  • Medical equipment for hospitals, accompanied with necessary training.
  • Encouraging mothers to give birth in hospitals.

Target audience

We hope to reach 2,400 farmers and their families, who are members of 18 co-ops in the provinces of Kwilu, Kongo Central, and Kwango. We also aim to support 5,000 pregnant women in Bukavu, located in the province of South Kivu.


With the support of the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid.  – DGD

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