More than one million people “are unable to meet their daily food needs on a regular basis or require food assistance in order to get by,” the WFP said in a statement issued on Friday.
As a result of the clashes and ongoing violence, “many farmers fled their farms, leaving crops untended. The majority of households said that their livestock had been stolen. Some families sold livestock and seeds to survive, while others sold herds for fear of displacement or looting,” the WFP said, quoting a recent security survey.
The agency is concerned that the supply of food remaining from the last harvest could run out at the beginning of 2014, four months earlier than what is normal.
“The survey found that there may not be enough food in the country to cover people’s needs through January/February 2014,” it added.
A recent UN report blamed the Seleka rebels for much of the chaos in the country. The rebels launched an offensive against the CAR government in December 2012 and finally ousted then President Francois Bozize in March 2013.
“Uncontrolled Seleka elements and unidentified armed groups” in the country committed “arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks,” the report said.
There are many mineral resources, including gold and diamond, in the Central African Republic. However, the country is extremely poor and has faced a series of rebellions and coups since it gained independence in 1960.