Wednesday, July 06, 2022

CAR Faces Increased Hunger

 Some 2.2 million people are already acutely food insecure in the Central African Republic, that’s nearly half the population.

To put CAR’s food insecurity crisis into context, the country is on a par with Yemen, South Sudan and Afghanistan, in terms of its proportion of acutely food insecure people.

Increases in commodity prices is only weeks away. “We expect a 30 per cent increase in rice, a 67 per cent increase for the price of wheat flour and a staggering 70 per cent increase in the price of vegetable oil

Its problems stem from protracted internal armed conflict since 2012 that has killed thousands, driven mass displacement and left two out of three civilians dependent on humanitarian aid, amid fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition.

 The senior UN official in the country, Valentine Rugwabizatold the Security Council that horrific attacks against civilians had risen, while efforts to chart a peaceful future for the country had lapsed into a state of “de facto lethargy”.

Structural factors have also contributed to a “progressive deterioration” of livelihoods and food security, such as high demographic growth, widespread poverty, unemployment and the degradation of natural resources.

Although the country often sees fuel shortages between May and July that correspond to the beginning of the rainy season, this year, CAR started running dry this year in mid-March. The impact on the UN agency’s relief efforts and local populations will likely be dramatic and lead to “an early hunger gap”

“At the back of our minds as well, is the impact that fuel - which is out of reach - high transport costs, is having on our own operations,” warned Tomson Phiri, WFP spokesperson.

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