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CAR facing food crisis, U.N. agency says

Jan. 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM

BANGUI, Central African Republic, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Conflict in the Central African Republic may lead to long term humanitarian issues because of an impending food crisis, a U.N. aid director said.

The United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Networks reports more than 90 percent of the communities in CAR don't have the seeds necessary to plant crops for the next growing season in part because of conflict raging since March.

Dominique Burgeon, an emergencies director for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, said more than 1 million people are facing some form of food crisis.

"People told us their fields had been burned, they have lost their tools, their goats and poultry, and many women's groups have lost their milling equipment," he was quoted by IRIN as saying Thursday. "All this has had a serious impact on food security."

CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world and the United Nations estimates large portions of the population are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance.

Seleka, a Sunni rebel coalition, toppled the government in March and the crisis took on a religious tone when a Christian militia called anti-balaka took up arms against their Muslim rivals.

Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangeye and President Michel Djotodia agreed last week to resign. Djotodia commanded the rebel Seleka coalition, but quickly lost control of the situation.

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