UN says half the population of Central African Republic needs humanitarian support

With nearly half the population in the Central African Republic (CAR) in need of humanitarian assistance, some $400 million is required over the coming year to shore up relief efforts that will be critical “to save the lives of people who are among the poorest and most forgotten on this planet,” a senior United Nations official said today.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest. More than 13,000 UN staff are currently based in the country as part of the UN Integrated Multifaceted Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.

Despite its considerable agricultural potential, CAR has some of the highest chronic malnutrition rates in the world – almost one in two children – due to ongoing insecurity, poor access to clean water and health care, as well as lack of seeds and tools. Maternal and early childhood mortality rates are also among the highest in the world.

Eruptions of violence over the past year meant that one in 10 remains a refugee, the majority in neighboring Cameroon, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

[UN News Centre]

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