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UN appeals for donations to feed the starving in Central African Republic

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The UN World Food Programme (WFP) appealed today for US $ 107 million to feed those starving in the conflict-torn Central African Republic. The UN food agency relies on voluntary donations from governments and the public.

WFP is planning to feed at least 1.25 million people, many who have been displaced from violence by armed groups terrorizing the country.

Since the most recent outbreak of fighting, WFP has provided food to over 200,000, including in the capital of Bangui, Bossangoa and Bouar. This includes a Christmas Day distribution of food, in coordination with UNICEF, to children. However, low funds may prevent food from reaching the hungry as early as next month.

Denise Brown, WFP's West Africa Director in Bangui, says, “We urgently need support from donors so we won’t start running out of food in January. We are providing food for hungry people wherever we can in CAR. But insecurity is the biggest challenge.”

UN peacekeepers are trying to restore order in the country. Disarmament programs are underway. However, if hunger and desperation escalates it will threaten any chance of peace.

Brown adds, “We therefore urge all parties to the conflict to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel and the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need wherever they are. WFP is neutral and delivers assistance solely on the basis of need.”

Visit the WFP hunger crisis page.

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