Agencies concerned about "dire" food situation in the CAR

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In Gordil, Central African Republic, after three years of conflict, for children under-five, their bodies weakened from malnutrition, the biggest killers were not bullets but instead malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhoea. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes

Three years of conflict and displacement have contributed to what two UN agencies are calling the "dire" food situation in the Central African Republic.

Over two million people, that's half of the population, are facing hunger.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) say multiple poor harvests and price hikes, particularly for staple items are adding to the problem.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN agencies have conducted an assessment report of food security in the Central African Republic (CAR).

It shows that overall crop production was about one million tonnes less than the pre-crisis average.

As a result, people have been skipping meals or opting for less nutritious food.

The two UN agencies say revitalizing the agricultural sector is important for lasting peace in the CAR.

They have been working alongside partners to support agricultural production and food security.

For example, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has been providing households with seeds and tools, thus helping them to reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, some 900,000 people have benefited from school meals programmes, emergency food assistance and other World Food Programme (WFP) activities.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 55″

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