UN warns Central African Republic faces food crisis

13 November 2003

The Central African Republic (CAR) could face a severe food crisis within four months unless urgent action is taken, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today.

UN agencies will launch a fresh, consolidated appeal on 19 November for donors to give more aid to the CAR 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 CAR's 3.8 million citizens have been internally displaced since a five-month armed rebellion ended in March this year.

Mr. Nana-Sinkam said the people of CAR 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.

He said that people living in the country's central, northern and eastern regions are at particular risk from epidemics and malnutrition.

In April, the UN launched a Flash Appeal to help people in CAR's rural areas, but that attracted just 20 per cent of the $9 million required.


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