21 January 2016

Central African Republic: A Mom's Struggle In Conflict-Ravaged Central African Republic

Nicole Sabiko, a young mom of 23 with four children, stepped into the new year the same way as she began the year before, and the one before that. Being displaced. Together with her children, she has been finding refuge at one of the many displaced people’s camps in Bangui, the capital of conflict-ravaged Central African Republic. How is she surviving?

Three years of crisis have taken a huge toll on the people of the Central African Republic (C.A.R.). Half of the population – nearly 2.5 million people − faces hunger. This means that one in two people does not know where their next meal is coming from. Families have been forced to sell what they own, pull their kids out of school, even resort to begging. People in the C.A.R. have reached the end of their rope, and they need support more so now than ever before.

Nicole has to look after her children all by herself; her husband abandoned the family when day-to-day survival became harder and harder.

To support her family, she tries to do  household jobs, but this does not bring in enough money to feed her family.

“It is very difficult to have enough food to eat on a regular basis. I rely heavily on WFP’s assistance to eat, to have porridge for my baby,” she says.

Recently, Nicole fell ill and she couldn’t work. The children were forced to beg until Nicole got well enough to resume her work.

To show the extreme conditions in which she is living, Nicole shows her baby’s empty bowl of porridge, as a plea for more support.

Half the population of the Central African Republic faces hunger

The latest food security assessment in C.A.R. shows that half of the population – 2.5 million people – faces hunger. This marks a doubling in the number of hungry people over a one-year period. Three years of crisis have taken a huge toll. One in six people − more than half a million people − struggles with severe food insecurity, having to resort to extreme measures to get by such as begging, or selling what they own.

In December 2015, WFP provided food for nearly 400,000 people through general food distributions, cash-based transfers, nutrition support and school meals, and food-for-assets activities.

WFP needs urgent support to continue to provide food and nutritional assistance to displaced and vulnerable communities as well as to support recovery efforts.

Right now, US$41 million is needed through the end of June, so WFP can respond to urgent needs both in the C.A.R. and in neighbouring countries hosting C.A.R. refugees. To date, WFP’s operation is only 45 percent funded.

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