Food insecurity plagues Central African Republic

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Ruined and abandoned house in the northern Central African Republic. [Photo: IRIN/Anthony Morland]

Food assistance is emerging as an urgent humanitarian priority in the Central African Republic, according to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

OCHA says assessments carried out earlier this year show that many people cannot afford the little food that is available in markets, and that farmers have begun to eat the seeds that were meant for planting this season.

Humanitarian agencies are now warning of critical food needs in both rural and urban areas as the country enters the traditional lean season between now and August/September.

Jens Laerke, the Spokesperson for OCHA, says the Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.

“For instance, almost 63 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. Two thirds of the population does not have access to health services. Forty two percent of the population is food insecure.”

While high insecurity forces most humanitarian agencies to remain in the capital, Bangui, there is an agency presence in the surrounding countryside.

The crisis in the country began in December 2012 when rebels launched an offensive against the Government.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’16″

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