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There's still time to help the world's hungriest country

Concern Worldwide's seed fair in the Central African Republic (CAR) brings communities together to help each other out of poverty.  On the day of the seed fair, families in the village are provided with seed vouchers (from kind people like you), which they can then exchange for the seeds of their choosing and ultimately, give their children a healthy, balanced diet.

Why do we have these fairs? Because CAR is the hungriest country in the world and we must do something about it.

Why is CAR the hungriest country in the world?

CAR is located in the very centre of the African continent. It has a beautiful and varied landscape and a diverse - though relatively small - population of just under five million. (Want to test your knowledge of CAR? – take our quiz) However, CAR has suffered from decades of misrule, coups and periods of violent conflict. 

As Simon Starling (Concern’s Director of Policy and Campaigns) says in his recent thought-leadership blog: “conflict that is the primary driver of the increase in hunger levels”.

Simon states that:

“Hunger should not be a feature of the 21st Century. The world produces enough food for us all, and hunger levels globally had been on the decline for decades. But in 2016, for the first time in more than 15 years, the number of hungry people rose by 38 million to 815 million. Last year catastrophe loomed, with famine declared in South Sudan and three other countries - Somalia, Yemen, and Nigeria – teetered on the brink of famine.  What these four very different countries have in common is conflict and violence.  In fact, 60 per cent of the world’s hungry people live in conflict zones, and the UN estimates 80 per cent of its humanitarian funding needs are conflict driven.” 

This is why the Central African Republic is one of the world’s poorest countries. Years of conflict has resulted in widespread destruction, forcing millions to flee their homes, leaving huge proportions of the population without access to food or clean water. And this is also why we can’t leave CAR behind.

How can we fix it?

While we may not be able to fix the issue of conflict, we can certainly make life for those affected by it better. Like building the resilience of communities and delivering programmes addressing issues around food security and livelihoods, health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, peacebuilding, gender, and disaster risk reduction. And this includes the seed fairs. While it may be a market your hipster friend would never go to, it’s also an excellent way to feed a country ravaged by conflict.

And it’s not too late to get involved.

We’ve been working a lot recently to spread the word on CAR, and there’s still plenty of time to get involved. You can donate to help an extremely poor family get the food they need, or you can join the many people on social media that tweeted their MPs [link] to ask them to make CAR a priority with the UK government.

Alternatively, test your knowledge of the world’s hungriest country with our great quiz

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