Hundreds of thousands of children in the central Kasai region of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are likely to die in the coming months if food aid is not delivered to them soon, World Food Programme (WFP) and regional officials warned Sunday.
Chaos in the Kasai region has been ensuing for months, with thousands of people dead and injured.
The spate of violence started last year in August when police killed the leader of Kamuina Nsapu militiamen, also called Kamuina Nsapu.
After the death of their leader, the militiamen launched attacks on police, army and civilians in Kasai. The Catholic church in DRC recently said more than 3,000 people have been killed and thousands others displaced due to clashes.
In a statement, WFP Executive Director David Beasley termed the situation in Kasai "appalling."
He said the WFP currently only has 1 percent of the funding it needs to help people in Kasai and warned that if nothing is not done within a few weeks, the situation will become terrible with thousands of children dying from hunger.
Beasley said: "The situation in Kasai is desperate. We need help, and we need it right now. Several hundred thousand children will die in the next few months, if we don't get funds to buy food.''
He added on that according to the body's research team which returned recently from Kasai, many children there have died already.
Kasai regional Health Inspector Robert Kale concurred with the assessment.
Kale told Anadolu Agency that parents at internally-displaced people's camps in Kasai did not have enough food to feed their children.
"Thousands of children in the Kasai region are malnourished. The parents are not involved in growing food due to insecurity and organizations that give them provisions," he said.
He added there was an urgent need to provide food to the displaced people and their children to avoid a catastrophe in the near future.