An urgent cry for help

This malnourished girl had her weight checked using a large bucket and weighing scales at the Bangui paediatric complex in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Tuesday.

Children suffering from malnutrition like her are typically hospitalised for just over a week until their weight recovers, but some fall victim to severe malnutrition or other diseases.

According to the United Nations, the infant mortality in the CAR is the highest in the world, with one in 24 babies dying in their first 28 days. Two out of three CAR children, or 1.5 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to a Unicef report this year.

"Central African Republic is one of the most difficult countries to be a child," Unicef spokesman in CAR Donaig Le Du told Agence France-Presse.

The UN warned last month that the CAR is facing worsening food insecurity, with years of civil unrest forcing many people to leave their homes and fields.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2018, with the headline 'An urgent cry for help'. Print Edition | Subscribe