The Forgotten Heart of Africa 26 images Created 5 Jun 2009
Right in the heart of Africa, surrounded by Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo is the Central African Republic (CAR). In line with its neighbours this country is ravaged by internal conflicts. Several rebel groups are engaged in a permanent war with the government. Army and militias have burnt down thousands of villages. The population fled into the bush where an estimated 100,000 still live. ..The Central African Republic has many Internally Displaced People (IDP's). Nobody knows how many. It is almost impossible to register them. There is only one IDP camp in a country the size of Texas. Many crossed the border to Chad, but the majority lives spread out in the bush. Whole communities live in small huts trying to hide amongst the barren trees. Small patches of land are cultivated but don't produce enough to feed the population. The main crop is Cassava. The shortage of food and the unbalanced diet result in children with swollen belies, malnourished babies and a rate of death amongst children under the age of five which, at 167 out of 1000, is one of the highest in the world.