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North Kivu Egg Project Provides Food for Thought

by 5m Editor
26 March 2008, at 10:09am

CONGO – The UN refugee agency and an implementing partner have hatched a pilot project aimed at improving the nutritional needs of displaced Congolese in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC).

UNHCR and Veterinaires sans Frontieres (VSR) also hope that their chicken-rearing and egg production programme will help to make some of the neediest internally displaced people (IDP) in volatile North Kivu province more self-sufficient through the consumption and sale of poultry products.

The project began last November in the UNHCR-run Bulengo IDP site near Goma with a focus on female-headed households, abused women, the disabled, the elderly and the young in a region where there are some 800,000 IDPs, including around 400,000 forced to flee fighting over the past year. The IDPs have little money, while child malnutrition rates are high.

The 150 families chosen to pilot the project were each given 20 egg-laying hens, feed, medicines and help in building a hutch and chicken run.

But the UN refugee agency and VSR have also had to change mindsets to get the project off the ground because, explained Assistant Project Manager Justin Oderwa, while North Kivu's Congolese are used to rearing a few chickens at home, they rarely see the commercial potential in the birds.

Source: Reuters

5m Editor