UN World Food Programme

Central African Republic: The Crisis In Photos

In April WFP launched the CAR Can't Wait campaign to raise funds for our food assistance operations in the Central African Republic. Donate here

The humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic is a major test of WFP's abilities as a provider of food assistance. The continuing violence, the scale of the population displacement and logistical problems all pose significant challenges. Here are 12 photos that illustrate the different sides of the emergency and WFP's response.

WFP/Alexis Masciarelli

Amid the violence that engulfed the capital of C.A.R. in December, thousands of people sought safety and shelter in makeshift camps such as this one near Bangui airport, where WFP organised frequent food distributions. Read Story

WFP/Rein Skullerud

Ali, left, is one of many who lost family in the clashes. His father and brother were both killed. He and his wife Ashta are looking after his dead brother's daughter. Sheltering near a mosque, they rely on food assistance from WFP. See Photo Gallery

WFP/Alexis Masciarelli

Getting food into C.A.R. is tricky. In February, it was necessary to airlift food supplies because it was too dangerous to bring them by road from Cameroon. WFP airlifted enough to feed 150,000 people for a month. Read Press Release 

WFP/Alexis Masciarelli

 Despite the insecurity, the WFP Logistics team is now managing to get food to some 35 different locations across CAR, up from the four urban areas we were reaching in December. Read More

WFP/Alexis Masciarelli

Working with 21 partner NGOs on the ground, WFP reached 215,000 people with food assistance in April. In this photo food is offloaded from a convoy that came from Cameroon. See Photo Gallery 

WFP/Melissa Chemam

Children are among the hardest hit by the crisis. There's been a 62% increase in children hospitalised for malnutrition in one Bangui medical centre. This is Mupete, whose arm circumference is being measured for malnutrition.  Read Story

WFP/Alexis Masciarelli

This is Julicia, eating a WFP ration of 'Plumpy Sup', a ready-to-use nutritional supplement designed for children. It's effective in fending off malnutrition. See Photo Gallery



A big factor in the food crisis is the virtual collapse of C.A.R.'s economy. Even when markets have food, few people have money to buy it. “It doesn’t get much worse than this,” said WFP Economist Arif Husain after visiting the country. Read Story 

WFP/Jonathan Dumont

WFP head Ertharin Cousin went on a 2-day fact finding visit to C.A.R. in March. “The biggest danger stalking the young in C.A.R at the moment is malnutrition," she said, promising displaced people that they would not be forgotten. Read Blog 

WFP/Melissa Chemam

One result of the violence is the flight of many C.A.R. Muslims to neighbouring countries. As a result, families left behind, such as this one in the northern town of Bossangoa, are increasingly isolated. Read Story 

WFP/Djaounsede Pardon

More than 350,000 people have fled C.A.R., making the crisis a regional one. Among the refugees is this young woman and her two babies, who are receiving assistance from WFP in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Watch Video

WFP/Amadou Handou

In May, WFP airlifted 50,000 litres of jet fuel from Nairobi to Bangui to allow the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by WFP, to keep life-saving aid flowing.  Read Press Release