GENEVA: Insecurity in Central African Republic threatens a severe food crisis this year, the U.N. World Food Programme said today, citing a doubling of prices for staples such as corn after a month-long insurgency.
Some 800,000 people live in the central third of CAR, an area still held by the Seleka rebel coalition.
It said widespread looting had reduced household production as well as stocks of food, seed and animals, and insecurity was preventing farmers from going about their work.
Food in CAR comes mainly from subsistence farming and market gardening.
The mineral-rich former French colony signed a ceasefire deal with Seleka on Jan. 11 after an insurgency that swept to within striking distance of the capital.
Citing a food security assessment by the United Nations and non-governmental organisations, WFP said food looked set to become especially short in the May to September rainy season.