About the Author: Jessica Hartl serves as a Information Officer in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Food for Peace.
I recently traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to visit food assistance programs implemented by USAID’s Office of Food for Peace. My first impression of the Congo was the same feeling I had in Uganda when visiting projects there last year - why in countries so lush and ripe for agriculture were people so food insecure? Food insecurity is a complex issue, and for the DRC it includes key issues such as low productivity, lack of market access and infrastructure, ongoing conflict and poor nutrition practices.
As a country struggling to pull itself out of conflict, the DRC is a challenging environment to work in. Never mind the logistical challenges for our partners and staff: little infrastructure in program areas; communities… more »