Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs Johnnie Carson delivers remarks on finding a lasting solution to instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. on February 12, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/p/af/rls/rm/2013/204511.htm

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in New York, New York on September 24, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame in New York, New York on September 24, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

A Lasting Impact on Food Security

Seed multiplication station in Emilingombe, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where community members are growing tree seedlings for reforestation of the surrounding region, August 2012. [USAID photo by Jessica Hartl]

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 »

Preventing HIV Infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Women wait outside the maternity ward in Mweso, Congo's hospital May 12, 2010. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Ambassador Eric Goosby serves as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator.

This week I am traveling in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country that, while facing many challenges, is home to families who are seeking to build a better future. Health is an important part of a better future for the DRC, and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) is a key example of a health care service that can strengthen families and communities.

PMTCT provides a triple benefit: in addition to preventing an infant from being infected with HIV, a program can also provide antiretroviral treatment to keep the mother alive, which in turn prevents her other children from being orphaned. So PMTCT is a smart investment — it has an impressive impact, and is strikingly cost-effective as well.

Led by the U.S. through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the world has made dramatic progress on PMTCT over… more »