To survive, at least temporarily, in the Congo between 1996 and 2003, both adults and children took up arms. Many who did not do so voluntarily were forced to participate. War became their means of subsistence. Those who did not fight suffered starvation and displacement.
When war ended in 2003, the job of re-establishing basic food supplies and returning displaced people to work began. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) stepped in as part of a program to reintegrate ex-combatants with the agricultural sector.
Each received 150 metres of fishing net, four Coleman lamps, one fishing line, five ropes, two canoes, six hoisting poles, six pulleys and two poles to link the canoe hulls. Those in herding received a bicycle, goats, feed and veterinary products. Those in agriculture received axes, machetes, seed (either maize or groundnuts) and a bicycle.