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Canada Donates Crucial Aid For Central African Republic

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The Canadian government has just confirmed a contribution of nearly US$1.8 million for WFP emergency operations to assist displaced and extremely vulnerable people affected by the conflict in the Central African Republic.

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The Canadian government contribution will help WFP to provide some 1.3 million vulnerable people with food and nutrition assistance in CAR.

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Rice purchased from Canada’s donation has been distributed in January and February at the Bangui airport camp where 100,000 have gathered after fleeing the violence. “Canada is providing additional humanitarian support to ensure all those impacted have access to food, water and medical care," says Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie.

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WFP has organised daily distributions of rice, pulses and vegetable oil at the large Bangui airport camp to people living in squalid conditions. "Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are struggling to overcome the impacts of the conflict in the Central African Republic,” says Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie.

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Canada’s Denise Brown, WFP Regional Director for West Africa, meets people who have fled the violence at the Bangui displaced camp. She says: “WFP is delivering urgently needed food assistance in towns and villages across the country. We will continue to reach these people despite serious security challenges. WFP is extremely grateful for Canada’s latest contribution for the emergency operation in CAR. We need the international community of donors to continue to work with us to ensure that we have something to bring to these vulnerable people when we reach them.”

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As part of WFP emergency operations in Central African Republic, 197,000 children, like this boy from the village of Wantigera in the country’s rural North West, will benefit from emergency school feeding. A daily school meal provides a strong incentive to send children to school and allows the children to focus on their studies, rather than their stomachs.

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The elderly, women and children are particularly at risk in this conflict. Experience shows that in the hands of women, food is far more likely to reach the mouths of needy children.

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With the ongoing cycle of violence and reprisals, most displaced people remain too scared to return to their homes. Many sleep in the open or have found refugee around mosques, churches or like here, in Bangui, inside classrooms.

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Even if there is food available on the markets in the capital Bangui, most displaced people have run out of money and cannot afford it. To feed their families, they rely on humanitarian aid, assistance from relatives or by selling the little assets they have left.

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Thanks to Canada’s generous financial contribution, WFP will be able to increase its nutrition programme. Over 200,000 children under five suffer from malnutrition, and pregnant or lactating women will receive targeted or blanket supplementary feeding.

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As part of WFP’s emergency operation in CAR, 15,500 people living with HIV/AIDS will receive food assistance.

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In February, WFP began to airlift food into CAR as the country faces a deepening hunger crisis with its roads too insecure to move enough food by land for 1.25 million people affected by violence. A WFP-chartered Boeing 747 cargo plane from Douala in neighbouring Cameroon brings 82 tons cereals at each rotation. In total, 1,800 metric tons of cereals – sufficient to feed 150,000 people for a month – are due to arrive by air over the one-month operation.

The Canadian government has just confirmed a contribution of nearly US$1.8 million for WFP emergency operations to assist displaced and extremely vulnerable people affected by the conflict in the Central African Republic. The Canadian government contribution will help WFP to provide some 1.3 million vulnerable people with food and nutrition assistance in CAR.