Conflict, institutional changes and food insecurity in eastern DR Congo

E.I. Lecoutere, Koen Vlassenroot, Timothy Raeymaekers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The protracted crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that lasted from 1996 till 2003 aggravated processes of land alienation and reduced market access. Field research conducted in 2005 in three eastern DRC areas shows that these processes made rural households increasingly vulnerable and deepened structural causes of food insecurity. Households adapt their livelihood strategies because of the need to deal with the impact of different adversities and to anticipate various risks threatening their livelihoods. This further erodes the resilience of poorly endowed households and forces them to forsake food security in the long run to avoid acute destitution. Yet, standard food relief interventions often solely focus on direct food availability and fail to address the underlying structural causes for food insecurity such as limited access to land and markets. We recommend a combination of interventions that address both in order to lift rural households in protracted crisis situations out of the food insecurity trap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-63
JournalAfrika Focus
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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