UN food agency appeals for help to avert deepening crisis in Central African Republic

17 April 2007

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for increased international donor support to avert a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), where hundreds of thousands of people displaced by war and civil conflict are in urgent need of food assistance.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for increased international donor support to avert a deepening humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), where hundreds of thousands of people displaced by war and civil conflict are in urgent need of food assistance.

“The humanitarian situation in CAR is serious, and getting worse as a result of the violence and conflict spilling over from Darfur,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

“We need to increase our operations to cover the food needs of 230,000 people in this growing emergency.”

The appeal comes ahead of Ms. Sheeran’s visit to Ethiopia, Sudan and Chad next week, where she will assess the impact of the spill-over of the Darfur conflict in neighbouring Sudan for WFP operations in the region.

Her visit will follow on the visit to Sudan and the Central African region in early April by Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, who also focussed on the worsening situation in the often-overlooked emergency in CAR.

WFP is more than doubling its budget and scaling up its aid operations nearly six-fold to reach 230,000 people within CAR whose lives have been savaged by the ongoing violence.

Another 20,000 Central Africans who have fled west into Cameroon are targeted through a new WFP operation, while close to 50,000 refugees are already receiving WFP assistance in camps in southern Chad.

Total cost for this humanitarian effort is likely to exceed $50 million. In CAR alone, the newly expanded operation is budgeted at $44 million, but donor contributions to date amount to $14 million.

 

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