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Half of the population of CAR faces hunger, UN warns

Half of the population of CAR faces hunger, UN warns

Central African Republic

An emergency food security assessment by the United Nations World Food Programme and its partners has revealed that half of the population of the Central African Republic (CAR) is facing hunger.

The information comes at a time the country recovers from difficulty following three years of conflicts.

UN warned that the food situation in the country of 2.5 million people is critical while calling on other nations to assist.

Families have been forced so often to sell what they own, pull their kids out of school, even resort to begging, that they have reached the end of their rope. This is not the usual run-of-the-mill emergency. People are left with nothing

In a joint statement the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said the total agricultural production of 2015 in CAR represents 54 percent of the average food crisis in the country.

This marks a doubling in the number of hungry people in a one-year period, as conflict and insecurity have led to limited access to and availability of food.

WFP’s Deputy Country Director in the country, Guy Adoua; said three years of crisis have taken a huge toll on the people of CAR.

“Families have been forced so often to sell what they own, pull their kids out of school, even resort to begging, that they have reached the end of their rope. This is not the usual run-of-the-mill emergency. People are left with nothing,” he stressed.

According to the assessment, one in six women, men and children struggle with severe or extreme food insecurity, while more than one in three is moderately food insecure, not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

In December 2015, WFP provided food for nearly 400,000 people through general food distributions, cash-based transfers, nutrition support and school meals, as well as food-for-assets activities.

WFP said $41 million is required to respond to urgent needs through to the end of June. To date, WFP’s operation is only 45 per cent funded.

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