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Updated On: Friday, 20 April 2018
Development Issues

Food Aid Critical in CAR

Content by: South-South News

3 July 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — The degree of violence observed in recent months in the Central African Republic (CAR) has reached a point not seen since 2014 when the violence between armed groups began. The population tends to flee to very remote areas, away from the main roads.

Humanitarian operations are increasingly complex to organize and humanitarian partners are regularly the target of attacks on the roads. There are now more than half a million displaced people across the country – more than at any time since the clashes began.

In addition, limited logistics capacity as well as a poor surface transport network comprised of dirt roads/tracks and damaged bridges that flood during seasonal rains, render much of the country inaccessible.

The latest violence in the prefectures of Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto and Mbomou has only added to widespread misery. Half of CAR’s people require assistance. More than two million are hungry. Among children, stunting due to malnutrition is widespread.

Even so, CAR counts among the world’s most forgotten crises. Halfway into the year, the humanitarian response plan for 2017 is only one-quarter funded. WFP is short of US$ 42.4 million to support its work in the country until the end of the year.

With more than 100,000 people displaced by the latest upsurge in violence, WFP is now distributing food to 65,000 people in Basse-Kotto, Haute-Kotto and Mbomou. Specialized nutritious foods are also being distributed to about 6,500 children aged 6-23 months to prevent malnutrition.

An October 2016 national food security survey co-led by the Government, WFP and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) found about one in two Central African households were unable to meet its most basic food needs without external assistance.

Displaced people and returnees are particularly affected. Among refugees, as many as 87 percent have trouble getting food. This is also the case for nearly two-thirds of people living with host families and 61 percent of IDPs living in camps. They tend to rely on precarious income sources, such as gathering, hunting, and seasonal agricultural work. The less fortunate are dependent on aid, gifts from neighbors and begging.

Half of all food-insecure households in CAR have been forced to reduce the quality and quantity of meals, consume seed stocks, cut health and education expenses, and borrow or purchase food on credit. These survival strategies are having a devastating impact on young children, pregnant and nursing women and the elderly.

As well as some of the world’s highest chronic malnutrition rates, CAR scores very poorly for maternal and early childhood mortality.


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