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'Severe humanitarian crisis' in CAR: relief agencies

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

A dozen relief agencies in the Central African Republic on Thursday warned that the whole population of the poor, landlocked nation faced a serious humanitarian crisis after a coup in March.

"The whole population of the Central African Republic, 4.6 million people, is affected by a severe humanitarian crisis in the wake of the coup d'etat and the political instability that followed it," said a statement signed notably by Action Against Hunger, Save the Children and Secours Catholique (Catholic Relief).

"The United Nations estimates that the CAR needs about 97 million euros ($126 million) in aid, but donations received for the moment meet only 43 percent of these needs," the statement added.

A rebel coalition, the Seleka alliance, ousted president Francois Bozize in the highly unstable country in March and one of the Seleka leaders, Michel Djotodia, became the new head of state. Unrest has persisted since the change of regime.

According to the non-governmental organisations, "more than 60,000 children and families are suffering from severe food shortages. More than 200,000 children and families have been forced in the past six months to flee their homes and need emergency shelter, food and medical care."

The relief agencies added that food and health issues were considerably worsened by insecurity, killings and looting. They also denounced many cases of rape and sexual abuse, particularly affecting children, and concluded that "the current humanitarian crisis is the worst the country has known".

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130627/severe-humanitarian-crisis-car-relief-agencies