The U.N. World Food Program started distributing several tons of food to rebel-held areas of eastern Congo for the first time since October, a food program spokesman said Friday, CNN reported.
Displaced women receive maize meal from the World Food Program in Rutshuru, eastern Congo, on Friday.
Peter Smerdon said a dozen trucks, escorted by a U.N. peacekeeping force, brought in food Friday to distribute in Rutshuru and Kiwanja, towns north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province.
Although some people in that area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have farms or grow their own food, they say it is too dangerous for them to harvest their crops, Smerdon said.
He said one man at a distribution center told aid workers that when he arrived at his field, armed men told him to go away. They told him they would sell the land, he said.
There is also some food for sale, "but a lot of people simply can't afford it," Smerdon said.
The World Food Program said 10 of the trucks arriving Friday carried 100 metric tons of food for the first four days of distributions in the two towns; two others were carrying additional food for Rutshuru.
The trucks will return to Goma later Friday, the WFP said.