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WFP desperately needs donations to feed the starving in Central African Republic

The United Nations said yesterday that in the Central African Republic 1.3 million people are hungry and "need emergency food distributions." Funding is desperately needed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to lead the hunger relief mission in the war-torn country.

Despite the insecurity in the Central African Republic, children attending school receive meals from the World Food Programme
WFP/A.Masciarelli

WFP is facing a "near-complete break in stocks" of food come February because of a funding shortage. The UN food agency relies entirely on voluntary donations. Funding needs to come quickly for the Central African Republic. WFP has appealed in total for US $ 107 million.

As violence has escalated so too has displacement and the loss of livelihoods. Hunger and malnutrition are taking its toll as a result. The situation could get even worse as the year progresses.

Many farmers have lost access to land, or agricultural supplies, because of the fighting. Food production has declined in communities as a result. The next harvest is months away and many families are out of food reserve stocks. Farmers also lack seeds for the next harvest season. Aid groups are trying to get them these critical supplies in time.

The UN report also revealed an alarming find, "an increasing number of children admitted with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with medical complications, particularly in the first weeks of January 2014." Children who lack nutrition can suffer lasting and physical and mental damage.

WFP is bringing food aid, often through conflict areas, to feed the hungry in the Central African Republic. How long this can continue depends on donations from the international community.

WFP has set up relief fund for the Central African Republic