The Central African Republic (CAR) is "close to being a failed state" and threatens to spread chaos in the heart of the continent, UN officials have warned. (..) Valerie Amos, the UN's humanitarian chief, called on the security council to take swift action to restore security and end the suffering of millions. (..) The turmoil has affected the 4.6 million-strong population in its entirety, Amos added. About 1.6 million people are in dire need of food, protection, healthcare, water, shelter and other assistance. (..) Nearly 60,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring states, two-thirds of them in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.