The Government of Japan has provided US$1.6 million (JPY 178 million) contribution for the much-needed food assistance to vulnerable people in the Central African Republic, amid a deepening humanitarian crisis.
Japan’s contribution will enable WFP to provide life-saving assistance to nearly 66,000 people in communities hard hit by the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the uptick in conflict following late-December elections.
‘’The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 has left more people unable to meet their basic food needs,” said WFP CAR Country Director, Peter Schaller. “WFP is grateful to the Government of Japan for this contribution, which comes amidst growing humanitarian needs due to recent post-electoral violence which uprooted hundreds of vulnerable people from their homes, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
An estimated 2.8 million people —more than half the country’s population—will need humanitarian assistance this year. As the country’s longstanding conflict resurges, adding to the impact of COVID-19, more people risk falling into acute hunger without food assistance.
CAR is also facing serious food shortages, as violence cuts off the landlocked country’s traditional supply routes and leaves food convoys stranded outside its borders. This is driving up prices of basic food commodities, with costs of staples like oil, meat, and onions up by more than 50 percent.
‘’Given the worsening humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic, Japan understands that more and more people are depending on the support and solidarity of the international community. We hope that this contribution from Japan will help WFP reach those affected by the crisis,’’ said Tsutomu Osawa, Ambassador of Japan to the Central African Republic.
WFP currently provides monthly food and nutrition assistance to some 800,000 people. Given the mounting needs, however, it urgently requires US$ 63.8 million to scale up and support nearly one million people over the next six months.
The Central African Republic has been in turmoil since a violent takeover of power in 2013. The aftermath saw armed groups conclude a multitude of peace agreements even as they continued to fight each other and launch attacks on the civilian population.