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UN warns of a full-scale hunger crisis in Central African Republic

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today of a severe hunger crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). Conflict has ravaged the CAR since last year with nearly one million people displaced.

24 year old widow Therese says that the rations she received in Wantiguera will help feed her three young children. ‘We’ve had very little to eat. This will help us a lot.’
24 year old widow Therese says that the rations she received in Wantiguera will help feed her three young children. ‘We’ve had very little to eat. This will help us a lot.’
WFP/Alex Masciarelli

The FAO says that, "The low production from the last harvest, prevailing and chronic country-wide malnutrition, and extreme poverty and inappropriate sanitation conditions are setting the stage for a full-scale food-and-nutrition security crisis should the next planting season fail." The UN is distributing seeds and tools to farmers who still have access to land.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food for Peace program has just donated US $ 10 million to feed the hungry in the CAR. The funds will be used by the UN World Food Programme's (WFP) relief mission there.

This donation comes a critical time, with funding running extremely low for WFP. The UN said today that "the humanitarian response for CAR is still extremely underfunded."

The Food for Peace donation, "will include rice, pulses, and nutritional supplements to help feed 1.25 million food-insecure people through August 2014." WFP depends on voluntary funding. Food for Peace is WFP's largest donor.

WFP is feeding conflict victims displaced at the airport in Bangui, Zere, near Bossangoa, and emergency school feeding and food distributions are being provided in Bouar.

The UN World Food Programme has set up a crisis page.