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In Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, thousands of displaced people live in church compounds, schools, mosques and — as shown right — at the city’s M’Poko international airport, which is now home to 20,000 people. Conditions in makeshift camps such as these are appalling and food is scarce.

The airport-dwellers are among almost a million people who have had to flee their homes in CAR because of fighting between militias; more than 5,000 people have been killed over the past year and armed groups control many roads, making it hard for aid to reach people in remote places.

The International Rescue Committee, this year’s Financial Times seasonal appeal charity partner, has been working in the country since 2006 providing essential humanitarian services such as food distribution, clean water and sanitation. It has increased its presence during the current crisis but is in desperate need of more funds. IRC’s country director for CAR, Anne-Marie Brinkman, says: “The situation in CAR remains an emergency but the world is looking elsewhere.”

Read more about IRC’s vital work and donate online at ft.com/seasonalappeal

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