CAR, millions in need of nutrition assistance amidst violence

African boy looking at the camera African boy looking at the camera Photo by Javier on Unsplash

17 February 2021

Nutrition Cluster estimates that approximately 1.1 million people are in urgent need of food assistance due to ongoing humanitarian emergency

In the wake of the general elections on the 27th of December 2020, violence has intensified in several towns in the Central African Republic. Violence was mounting in the lead up these elections and the surge has resulted in an estimated 210,000 people being newly displaced – bringing the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to 1.5 million, almost a third of the country’s total population. Following the Nutrition Cluster’s 2021 CAR Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), Nutrition Cluster’s partners in the Central African Republic (CAR) have expressed deep concern for the welfare of the country’s most vulnerable, predominantly women and children.  

The Nutrition Cluster estimates that approximately 1.1 million people are in need of nutrition assistance, with 205,642 children under five years acutely malnourished. 62,327 of these children face severe acute malnutrition – risking death without immediate treatment – and 143,315 face moderate acute malnutrition. The pronounced increase in displaced populations, rises in prices of staple foods, and high numbers of large traders and herders fleeing the country have made any possible solutions to the issue extremely complex. Widespread collapses of basic healthcare services have also been reported, with 13 mobile clinics and 60 health facilities having suspended their services so far due to insecurity. 

In response, Nutrition Cluster partners have set a range of targets, including treating at least 50,000 children suffering from secure acute malnutrition and 164,500 children suffering from moderate acute manlnutrition in 2021. However, to reach these targets, the Nutrition Cluster is going to have to overcome serious disruption to the transportation networks of life-saving materials, a lack of consistent and predictable funding, not to mention the likely possibility of further increases to the number of people in need of nutrition. 

Nutrition Cluster and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimate that funding of about $11.2 million is urgently needed before the end of May 2021.


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Author: Tan Zhong Chen; Editor: Xavier Atkins

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