The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said today it's running out of food to feed starving war victims in the Central African Republic (CAR). WFP rice is being blocked at the CAR border with Cameroon. Truck drivers are unwilling to cross the border because of the ongoing violence.
With no new food, WFP's relief mission is relying on stocks already in the country, which are fast dwindling.
WFP Regional Director Denise Brown says, “The main road between Cameroon and CAR is the lifeline for humanitarian operations, which increases the need for these axes to be secure. As a last resort, WFP is considering an airlift food from Douala, Cameroon, to Bangui. But being forced to launch such an operation would substantially increase the cost of our emergency operation in CAR.”
Funds is what WFP is lacking most of all. The UN food agency relies on voluntary donations from governments, but has not received any since it launched a CAR appeal at the start of the year. A United Nations report states:
"The current WFP funding situation is insufficient to cover needs. WFP’s emergency operation running from January to August 2014 currently faces a $95 million shortfall (88 per cent of resources) for food, nutrition and emergency school meals. Additional commitments are urgently required to secure stocks in time, in particular in light of the required pre-positioning ahead of the rainy season which starts in April."
Since January 1st, WFP has fed over 70,000 people in the capital of Bangui and Western town of Bouar. Violence has displaced many from their homes and farming land. With fighting ongoing between rebel groups there is fear of famine this year because the food supply system has broken down completely.
Humanitarian aid by WFP and other groups is the only source of help for conflict victims. These aid groups rely on funding from the international community.
WFP has a relief fund set up for the Central African Republic.