Four months after a coup, the Central African Republic’s economy is in chaos: companies have closed, residents are out of work, aid organizations have left and the government is out of money.
Finance Minister Christophe Mbremaidou said the government plans to ask donors for help in dealing with “urgent problems” including a lack of access to healthcare and education, according to a Bloomberg report.
The United Nations Security Council described the Central African Republic as in a “state of anarchy and total disregard for international law” since former President Francois Bozize’s government was deposed by rebel Seleka forces March 24. The economic outlook is “highly uncertain” after the fall of Bozize’s regime, the African Development Bank said on its website, Bloomberg reports.
To revive the economy, the government plans to improve security, encourage people to return to work and urge those displaced by the recent conflict, including employees of aid agencies, to return to the country, Mbremaidou said.
A third of the country’s 4.6 million people need humanitarian aid, U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said.
The country needs foreign aid to prevent famine, President Michel Djotodia told the African Union, asking it to lift a suspension of his country from the continental body to enable aid flows to return.
Violence has plagued the country since independence from France in 1960, with at least five battles over the capital, Bangui, from 1996 to 2003.
Central African Republic has a gross domestic product of about $3.6 billion, earning most of its foreign currency from timber and diamond exports, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Pangea Diamondfields Inc., an Isle of Man-based explorer, owns a concession there. Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest lender, earlier this year ended talks with Axmin Inc. (AXM), a Canadian gold explorer, over a $100 million loan to help finance a gold mine there.