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Funding Shortages Threaten Vital Assistance To Thousands Of Displaced In Central African Republic

BANGUI – The World Food Programme (WFP) urges donors to provide immediate support so 150,000 highly vulnerable people, displaced by violence, can continue to receive life-saving assistance in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Without urgent funding, WFP will be forced to halt its assistance to the 150,000 in February.

Funding constraints in 2016 have already had a serious impact on the people of CAR. WFP was  able to assist about half of the people it aimed to support – about 400,000 out of nearly 1 million – leaving more than half a million people without the urgent assistance they desperately needed.

WFP was also forced to halve the amount of food provided to beneficiaries. WFP distributed half ration through general food distribution. In November and December, the school meals distributions only covered for 15 days instead of 18 initially planned

In December, thousands of displaced people in Kaga Bandoro – a region hit by renewed violence – were forced to struggle harder to make ends meet on just 25 percent of a full food ration.

“Our food stocks are at their lowest. Without additional resources, we will be forced to make new cuts in January and distribute a ration with no rice, a reduced quantity of peas, vegetable oil, iodized salt and specialized nutritious food. Without urgent support, we will be forced to suspend our food distributions as of February,” said Felix Gomez, WFP Country Director in C.A.R.

WFP requires US$21.5 million to maintain assistance to 150,000 through June 2017 with complete food rations. The funds will be used to procure 14,580 metric tons of various food supplies.

“The food distributed by WFP represents a lifeline for people who have lost everything. Suspending assistance will have a dramatic impact on the lives of already internally displaced people and refugees, who rely on our food distributions to feed themselves and their families,” added Gomez.

The interruption of the assistance would place an unbearable burden on similarly vulnerable host communities, which could fuel frictions and pose security risks.

 “We call on the generosity of our donors to help avert a greater humanitarian crisis,” concluded Gomez.

In C.A.R., years of conflict have driven millions of people deeper into poverty and hunger.

Half of the nearly 5 million-strong population currently face hunger. In 2017, WFP plans to assist 578,000 people through monthly food distributions; food assistance in exchange for creating community assets; purchase for progress activities, which connect smallholder farmers to markets; the treatment and prevention of malnutrition; and emergency school meals.

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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food in emergencies and working with communities to build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

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For more information please contact:
Marie Joëlle Jean- Charles, WFP/C.A.R,  +236 72187590
Simon Pierre Diouf, WFP/Dakar, +221 778012221