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Central African Republic: Food Assistance Fact Sheet – March 28, 2019

Since 2012, conflict has disrupted livelihoods and food security in the Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked nation of approximately 4.5 million people.
Humanitarian access to vulnerable populations is limited, as armed groups have taken de facto control of large parts of northwestern, central and southeastern CAR, despite the presence of UN peacekeeping troops.Situation Escalating violence since the beginning of 2017 has driven displacement across the country.As of December 2018, the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) was approximately 641,000, while nearly 591,000 Central African refugees resided in neighboring countries. One person in every four from CAR is internally displaced or a refugee; two of every five face severe acute food insecurity, according to the UN.
According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) (link is external), vulnerable, conflict-affected populations will continue to face Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of food insecurity across CAR through September 2019 due to displacement and inconsistent access and availability of humanitarian assistance.*In October 2018, an IPC analysis projected nearly 1.9 million people in CAR were facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC 4) levels of acute food insecurity and in need of emergency food assistance.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (link is external) anticipates that more than 38,000 children in CAR younger than 5 years of age will experience severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2019.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of acute food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC 1) to Famine (IPC 5).
RESPONSE With support from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP), the UN World Food Program (WFP) distributes food vouchers and in-kind food assistance sourced from U.S.
local and regional stocks to several hundred thousand food-insecure IDPs, vulnerable host community members and returnees affected by conflict and insecurity in CAR. Through FFP contributions, WFP also provides school meals for children from crisis-affected families.
In addition, FFP partner ACTED provides cash transfers for food to displaced and host community populations in southeastern CAR.FFP enables UNICEF to respond to SAM cases in CAR by providing ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat malnourished children, facilitating nutrition assessments and supporting trainings for caregivers and health workers.

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Heron Preston Visits Nairobi With United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion

Invited by the United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, the two-night trip was a launch for its program Future Fashion Now. The UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion is rooted in the urgency to better coordinate sustainable fashion efforts as they fit with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN flew him and a cadre of other young designers to Nairobi, where he gave a talk, explored local secondhand markets and went on a safari. The markets were packed with essentially the effects of what happens to our stuff when we no longer want it.Taking out his smartphone to illustrate that point, Preston reeled through photos of a room stacked to the rafters with compressed bales of secondhand clothes.So flooded with secondhand goods, the markets have more than they can sell, Preston said.Then that really affects the local designers and markets there. It’s harder for them to thrive because of all this stuff that we’re sending, he said.It’s crazy just clothes, bras, athleticwear, jerseys. There’s a documentary about it.

We think we’re donating clothes, and it gets sold off by the weight in bales and bales. There’s a bunch of stuff that isn’t even used.Another photo shoot by Preston showed a man unstuffing a pile of teddy bears to reuse the cotton. They’re just breaking things down and using it for different purposes, he said.Preston was at The Whitby in New York to reconnect with Fashion 4 Development’s senior adviser sourcing and innovation Jeanine Ballone, who was on the Nairobi trip, and to meet the group’s founder Evie Evangelou.The designer, a contender for the CFDA’s Emerging Designer of the Year award, said his interest in sustainability started out with a zero-waste collaboration with New York Citys Department of Sanitation repurposing 9,000 old uniforms.

That sparked this curiosity and challenge to do better in fashion. From there, I really learned and discovered how damaging the textiles and apparel industries were.
I had no idea. And I had no idea that I was part of that problem as a designer.An apprenticeship with Eileen Fisher had helped to set him on his way, repurposing a tarp that he had hung in his showroom with an Eileen Fisher quote before he met her into camera bags. His latest earth-friendly project is Jump, items made from military grade decommissioned parachutes, which launches next month.

During his UN-sponsored trip to Nairobi, he presented some of those designs. Preston has switched his cotton sourcing and is now using only organic certified cotton, and is looking to use other environmentally preferred materials.Preston buzzed by Germany to visit Rimowa and tour the factory, getting a closer look at the machinery that is used to make Porsches and airplanes. It was million dollar heavy-duty engineering that just goes into aluminum luggage, he said.They started back in the 1800s making leather luggage. The factory had a fire and the only thing that survived was the aluminum.It’s beautiful luggage as well all handmade, weather-resistant, super, super airtight glue, nice design. On Monday, he is off to Hong Kong for the city’s Art Basel where he will DJ for David Zwirners gallery.The trip east will give Preston the chance to stop by his Hong Kong store in Causeway Bay. He shrugged off his resilience to transcontinental travel.

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