- South African iconic singer and the goodwill ambassador of Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has paid visit to rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Miriam Makeba is on a four-day visit to the Congolese capital Kinshasa, touring small farming projects for rape survivors. The women farmers were given seeds, tools and training by the FAO.
“I would like my visit to this country to be an opportunity to renew and strengthen our commitment and ensure that innocent victims suffering from hunger have access to the necessary resources to cultivate their hope for a better life,” she said.
Ms Makeba sympathised with women survivors of sexual violence for going through a physical, psychological and social pains.
She wondered why women, who guarantee the survival of 80% of the households in DRC, as well as play crucial role for the well-being of the family should become frequent victims of rape and sexual violence.
Ambassador Makeba described systematic rape of women as the most horrifying feature of the complex emergency in DRC in recent years.
She said 27,000 cases of sexual violence were recorded in the conflict North Kivu province in 2006.
Despite the country's vast potential for economic growth, she said, 70% of Congolese battle food insecurity and rising malnutrition rate. Besides, two decades of violence, famine and disease have resulted to the death of about 3.5 million people in the Central African country.
In collaboration with other stakeholders, the UN food agency's Emergency Coordination and Rehabilitation Unit supported over two million people.
Her visit also takes her to projects of families living with HIV/AIDS, discuss with government officials and representatives of UN agencies.
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