Bangui – The severe humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (C.A.R.) requires sustained international attention and an injection of funds to sustain lifesaving operations for people affected by conflict, Chris Nikoi, the Regional Director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in West and Central Africa warned today.
Repeated cycles of violence and conflict have uprooted hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and disrupted livelihoods in C.A.R. Nearly half of the country’s population of 4 million requires humanitarian assistance, including 1.6 million who are unsure of where their next meal will come from.
“We’re seeing renewed tension and violence in several parts of the country that will only compound the already dire humanitarian situation,” Nikoi said at the end of a four-day visit to the country. “We’re taking measures to provide assistance, but it will not be possible without additional donor support.”
Nikoi held discussions during his visit about the humanitarian situation with C.A.R. President Faustin Archange Touadera, donors, the Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the humanitarian community. He also visited WFP’s operations in Bambari – 400 km from Bangui – and met with internally displaced communities to listen their stories and assess how WFP food assistance could better support their livelihoods.
WFP has strengthened its response capacity to deliver lifesaving food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable communities in 2020. However, the agency urgently requires US$ 74 million to continue providing assistance to over one million people between February and July.
“It’s heart-breaking to see how conflict is destroying people’s lives. We hope peace will prevail and provide a respite for people who have suffered repeated displacement and disruption to their livelihoods,” said Nikoi.
Nikoi commended donors that have backed lifesaving WFP operations over the years in C.A.R., and urged continued support, warning that increased support is needed for recovery, resilience and development activities. Whenever security conditions and funding permit, WFP scales up interventions such as home-grown school feeding, food for assets, and support for smallholders’ farmers to increase local food purchases, enabling communities to rebuild their livelihoods, be more self-reliant, and inject money into the local economy.
WFP also provides services to the wider humanitarian and development community through the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), the Emergency Telecommunications and Logistics clusters – ensuring responders are connected, safe and can transport the necessary food and non-food items to the affected people across the C.A.R.
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