Half the population in CAR facing hunger

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Two small children walk hand-in-hand in the Castor Church displacement camp in Bangui, the capital of CAR. File Photo: UNICEF/UN01079/Terdjman

Half the population of the Central African Republic (CAR) is facing hunger.

The warning comes from the World Food Programme (WFP) which says nearly 2.5 million citizens have limited access to food.

The figure represents a doubling in the number of hungry people in the country over one year.

Dianne Penn reports.

Three years of inter-communal violence and insecurity in the Central African Republic have led to limited access and availability of food.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says not only do people not have enough to eat, they are forced to consume food that does not meet their nutritional needs.

The agency says citizens "have reached the end of their rope" with families being pushed to sell their belongings, take their children out of school, or even resort to begging.

A WFP Emergency Food Security Assessment finds recent harvests were poor and food prices remain high as fighting has kept farmers from tending their fields.

The UN agency is providing emergency food and nutrition support to the most vulnerable citizens.

It is also giving a boost to the local economy and livelihoods, for example by purchasing food locally for its school meals programme.

However, WFP says it will need US$41 million to respond to urgent needs through the end of June. 

So far, operations are less than half funded.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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