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news | August 05, 2016 | DRC | Emergency

Haut-Katanga: ACTED provides multi-sectoral support to returnees

Beneficiaries and merchants trade at the Feli-Kawama food fair under the supervision of ACTED staff. (ACTED DRC, 2016)

ACTED supports communities that had to flee conflict in the Haut-Katanga province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), through a multi-sectoral approach that answers to their diverse needs.

The return of displaced populations to their villages

In early 2012, the territory of Pweto, in the Haut-Katanga province, was shaken by armed conflict. The violence led a part of the population to flee and take refuge in safe villages and displacement sites.

Since 2014, relative calm has been observed in the area and the displaced populations have begun to progressively return to their former homes. These return movements persist today and the returnee households live in an extremely precarious situation. Their needs in terms of food security, health, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) remain significant.

Multi-sectoral response to essential needs

After a needs assessment was carried out by the Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation (AME) teams, and with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ACTED decided to provide support to the most vulnerable groups within the returnee population. ACTED chose to intervene in three sectors simultaneously: distributing food and essential household items through food stamps, and at the same time distributing agricultural kits and seeds. This complimentary-approach allows beneficiaries to eat, have basic household items, and also regrow plants in their lands, which remained abandoned.

The food stamps approach

Within the framework of this project, ACTED organises trade fairs, which are essentially indoor markets that are put in place in areas where populations experience difficulties in accessing merchandise. ACTED selects and sensitizes the awareness of local volunteer merchants, who carry and deliver their own products to the fairs. The beneficiaries receive the food stamps, which are equivalent to a certain monetary value, and use them at the fair in exchange for whatever products they like.

 

Beneficiaries at the Feli-Kawama food standing next to the items they have received. (ACTED DRC, 2016)