- The Central African Republic could face a severe food crisis within four months unless urgent action is taken, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned today. Again, however, donors turn their back to the poor country.
UN agencies will soon launch a fresh, consolidated appeal for donors to give more aid to the Central African Republic to help with food, health and education programmes after an earlier appeal attracted only a fifth of the target funds.
A local representative of FAO, Samuel Nana-Sinkim, said today that many of the Central African Republic's 3.8 million citizens have been internally displaced since a five-month armed rebellion ended with a military coup in March this year.
- The Central African Republic could experience an acute food crisis by February or March if no action is taken, added Mr Nana-Sinkam. FAO was asking for funds to implement programmes in health and education, as well as measures to ensure food security.
Mr Nana-Sinkam said the people of Central African Republic "had to eat their seed supplies before they fled during the conflict, and many are now living far from home in impoverished conditions without access to basic commodities or health services."
Though many Central African civilians by now had returned to their home areas, roughly 200,000 people remain internally displaced and some 40,000 others are refugees in southern Chad, unable to return because of roadblocks.
Mr Nana-Sinkam said that in the aftermath of the internal conflict earlier this year, many Central Africans thus still were living in very serious humanitarian conditions. "The lack of access to supplies from Bangui, the capital, has deprived the local population of basic commodities and basic health services whose infrastructure has been consistently looted."
- People living in the central, north and east regions have been exposed to disease and the risk of epidemics, malnutrition, especially among children, and a widespread degradation in living conditions, which jeopardise their very survival, the FAO representative added.
In April, the UN had launched an urgent appeal to help people in Central African Republic's rural areas, but that attracted just 20 percent of the US$ 9 million required. UN humanitarian agencies say they fear that "a failure to address humanitarian needs in other sectors, like health and agriculture, will jeopardise the consolidation of peace in the Central African Republic."
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