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Food aid funds run low for Central African Republic

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The UN World Food Programme (WFP), in a report released today, says it urgently needs funds for its relief mission in the Central African Republic. WFP says it's "facing immediate shortfalls from January. From February there will be a near complete break in stocks (90% shortfall)."

The UN food agency relies entirely on voluntary donations. As conflict has escalated in the Central African Republic, so too has the hunger crisis. There are an estimated 639,000 people displaced now in the country.

WFP is planning to feed over one million people in the coming year. Required funding totals at least US $107 million for food, including life-saving nutrition for infants and emergency school meals.

The constant threat of violence is making the WFP food distributions among most dangerous relief missions in the world. UN peacekeepers are trying to establish some security. Armed militias continue to terrorize the population and threaten the delivery of food and other aid.

However, there is great concern that lack of funds will also threaten the distribution of food in the coming weeks. This could be another devastating below to a country that has fallen into chaos.

The WFP report adds, "Given the highly volatile situation, it is imperative that WFP be in a position to respond to planned needs, as well as a potential increase in needs." With immediate funding WFP could purchase cereals and Plumpy'Sup from regional sources, which would increase the speed of delivery.

The Plumpy'Sup and other foods could save children from malnutrition, which can cause lasting physical and mental damage.

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