Lea N’Doїna has just given birth to a baby boy in the conflict-torn town of Boda, south east Central African Republic.

We met Lea as we distributed food in the town. Her baby was born just the day before, in one of the region’s few functioning health clinics. Little Nicholas already faces many challenges in achieving his right to grow up in safety, with access to good quality nutrition, clean water, and health services – and without fear of discrimination.

The town has been the scene of high-profile clashes, amidst violence that has forced around one million people in CAR from their homes. Lea, 26, and her family are amongst almost 530,000 people now displaced by the fighting. Her home and possessions were burned. She now lives with her husband and six children in a collective shelter housing five other families.

Communities torn apart by violence

Lea lives with her husband and six children in a collective shelter housing five other families.

Lea lives with her husband and six children in a collective shelter housing five other families.

Boda – a once bustling mining and trading town – is now a tense environment with two communities living apart, separated by so-called ‘red lines’. Both communities are benefitting from Islamic Relief’s work in the area, as our Ramadan programme provided 3,000 families from Christian and Muslim communities with food parcels packed with nutritious staples.

Throughout the country, communities in CAR are now living in enclaves, where movement is highly restricted and living conditions are extremely difficult. In addition to lacking food security and basic household items, schools are not open and health care facilities are severely short on staff and supplies.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable in this conflict, with UNICEF reporting that on average, at least one child has been maimed or killed every day for the past six months.

More than half of the population, an estimated 2.5 million people – including Lea and her family – now require urgent humanitarian assistance. The UN has designated the crisis in CAR a level three emergency, the highest possible designation, underlining the gravity of the humanitarian situation for those inside the conflict-torn country.

Please support our work to help families suffering in CAR, and vulnerable people that have fled to nearby countries: donate to our Appeal for the People of CAR today.

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