The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Central African Republic:
Currently, the Central African Republic (CAR) ranks among the poorest countries both on the continent and globally. According to the UNDP’s 2013 Human Development Report which classifies countries’ performances using a gamut of developmental variables, the Central African Republic ranked 180 out of 187 countries. Additionally, as a result of conflict in the country, the Central African Republic’s economic prospects are dismal at best, which is exemplified by its average income per capita of $750.
Malnutrition in the Central African Republic is one of the top concerns for the country. Nearly one-third of the population (1.3 million people) is food insecure, with 47.7 percent of the entire population undernourished. More than 10 percent of children suffer from malnutrition. Highly chronic malnutrition rates remain a concern in the CAR.
- Water Quality
Low water quality in the Central African Republic is correlated with the standards of living for the internally displaced, who are mostly women and children. With skyrocketing infant mortality rates of up to 10 percent, the average life expectancy is only about 50.7 years. Only about 75 percent of Central African Republic citizens have access to clean water, while only 27 percent have access to sanitary facilities. As a result, gastrointestinal diseases and infections such as tuberculosis, malaria, polio and shigellosis are most prevalent.
The 2013 crisis has had extremely negative impacts on the education system in CAR. The Education Cluster Survey on the State of Education reported that enrollment rates had plunged 6% in 2015 compared to 2012 since schools were not operational. The main reasons for this are a lack of teachers (49% of cases), population displacement (31%), destruction of premises (21%), and insecurity (26%). In addition, there have been 81 reported cases of attacks on the education system since 2017. Qualified teachers fleeing the fighting in rural areas are often replaced by poorly qualified or unqualified parent-teachers, with public primary schools counting 61% of parent-teachers.
- Food Scarcity
Children in the Central African Republic are more likely to die from hunger than from a bullet. Over 7% of children in the Central African Republic were reported this year to have severe acute malnutrition. The global threshold in which a situation in considered an emergency is 2%. Even before the rebel crisis broke out in spring of 2014, 30% of the population was food insecure. The amount of children under the age of five labeled “chronically” malnourished was 41%. Food stocks are reportedly a mere 20% of what they were before conflict broke out. Agricultural production has also decreased by 40%, greatly contributing to the decline in proper food supply.