Some 2 million in urgent need of food in CAR: UN

The United Nations (UN)’s food agency has warned that nearly two million people are in urgent need of food in the violence-stricken Central African Republic (CAR).

The World Food Program (WFP) expressed alarm on Thursday that the African country was in its worst era of food insecurity over the past four years.

WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said figures on food security compiled by the UN food agency in September found “the worst results since 2014, with 1.9 million people in need of urgent food action.”

The official warned that urgent action was necessary “to prevent a humanitarian tragedy” in the CAR, blaming the deteriorating situation on the “persistent insecurity.”

The CAR has been witnessing violence since a coup ousted president Francois Bozize in 2013.

Since then, the resource-rich but impoverished African country has been beset by simmering sectarian violence, which has claimed thousands of lives.

Reports say there are at least 18 armed groups operating in the country of four million, fighting for control of the natural resources. The conflict has led to the displacement of more than a quarter of the CAR’s population.

Last week, fresh fighting between armed groups forced more than 10,000 people to take refuge in a hospital in Batangafo, about 380 kilometers north of the capital, Bangui.

Of the 620,000 people who have been internally displaced by the violence, six out of 10 are staying with host families, the WFP said.

The UN has around 12,500 personnel deployed in the CAR as part of its MINUSCA mission, one of the world body’s largest peacekeeping forces.

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