Written by Aagastya Jaipuria, a grade 9 student.
Since 2012, The Central African Republic has been undergoing a conflict. People have been forced to flee their homes, and there’s been an acute food shortage, so much so that it has been listed as the “Hungriest country in the World.”
The neighbours of Central African Republic, like Congo and Sudan have had civil wars in the 20th century (a civil war is when citizens of the same country fight). The constant warring has left the country poor and out of money.
What is the Central African Republic?
Central African Republic is a interior country in Central Africa. Few years ago, The Central African Republic bush war took place which ended with the signing of a peace agreement in 2007. Then in 2012 a civil war was started by the rebel militia groups known as Séléka as the government was not abiding by the peace agreement. So, they went on to capture towns and seizing the capital.
After the Séléka overthrew the government the opposition militia known as anti-balaka were furious. They did not stay quiet and took up arms. Already an extremely poor country, The Central African Republic could not afford war, but due to its location in a conflict prone region it could not help but have a war. It was clear that the repercussions would be severe, and that is exactly what happened.
The number of cattle, sheep, and goat (which provided meat) were down by more than 50% due to their insensitive killing. The entire harvest was in ruins and prices of food supplies skyrocketed.
Several thousands of people have been displaced. A large number have fled to other countries as refugees. The war and an active revolt or uprising (when people rebel and rise against the authorities) have disrupted its food scenario.
The agricultural lands have been abandoned and the entire infrastructure is destroyed. A child dies almost every minute due to starvation in this nation. The people are helpless. More than 60% of the population is malnourished. The hunger crisis has become dire. The world food programme has also raised concerns about the same.
Reports suggest that the number of people battling the food crisis have doubled since 2015. Years of bloodshed and displacement of such a large number of people have made the situation worse than ever before.
There have been instances where families were falling so short on food supplies that children who get food through WFP’s emergency programme had actually packed some of their serving and taken it home for their parents.
More than half of the 2.5 million population need urgent humanitarian assistance, and if it is not provided their survival will become difficult. The biggest problem is that they do not have enough to save themselves; they are completely reliant on international aid.
What can be done? What is the solution?
For the food crisis to end the conflict is the first thing that needs to come to an end. This is because even if agriculture revives with the conflict still going on it will again be ruined in the matter of a few days. There has to be a peace agreement between the two parties involved. If needed the United Nations must also step up to resolve the conflict
After the conflict is over the farmers have to be given adequate seed supplies, fertilizers, and other equipment required for agriculture. A large percentage of the population is involved in agricultural activities so they can be an asset. Further animal husbandry also needs to be promoted. Funds should be provided to the country so that their infrastructure can be revived.
The process of revival of the country in this manner might be slightly slow due to all it went through and the destruction that took place but would be a permanent and fruitful solution.
Let us all hope that the food crisis will come to an end and innocent lives will not be lost.
Written by Aagastya Jaipuria
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