15 million US dollars to alleviate food insecurity in the crisis-ridden Central African Republic

The Central African Republic reports today one of the highest proportions of critically food-insecure people in the world, along with Yemen, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. 2.2 million people in the country do not have enough to eat, which represents 36 per cent of the population. A large part of this population lives in conflict-affected areas, where insecurity and displacement have reduced areas available for cultivation and hampered access to markets and fields. The impact of the war in Ukraine is further aggravating the situation, with the prices of basic food items projected to increase up to 70% by August.

It is in this context that the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths, allocated US$15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) rapid response window for life-saving measures against food insecurity in the country. The CERF funds will help actors scale up comprehensive emergency assistance for 200,000 people in 10 sub-prefectures where food insecurity is most severe. A multi-sectoral approach combining food assistance, nutrition, health care, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and protection will maximise the impact of food security interventions and reduce people’s use of negative coping mechanisms associated with food scarcity in a context of extreme deprivation.

“The allocation is a much-needed relief for thousands of people who are struggling to eat one meal a day”, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Ms. Denise Brown, said. “Our priority is to save lives. This emergency response will help people feed themselves, resume farming, where possible, and treat malnutrition. It will also ensure that people have access to health care and clean water, two key requirements for adequate food intake”, she added.

Six United Nations organizations will expand food distributions and cash transfers and improve livelihoods through the distribution of agricultural tools and seeds. Complementing these interventions, nutritional support will be scaled up to treat and prevent child malnutrition and provide families with severely malnourished children with access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation facilities and good hygiene practices essential for survival.

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