Rebel forces have been fighting government troops in Central African Republic (CAR) for four years.
Lawlessness and violence have forced more than 120,000 people from their homes.
Many have fled to the bushland, leaving ghost towns behind them.
Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons sent this report from a community near the north west town of Bodoli, where he found people close to starvation.
For thirty years, CAR went through a turbulent period, under the rule of mostly military governments.
The most infamous was the brutal decade-long rule by self-proclaimed emperor, Jean-Bedel Bokassa.
In 1993, civilian rule was established and lasted for 10 years. Instability led to a military coup in March 2003.
With a population of just over four million people, CAR is one of the poorest in the world and ranks among the ten poorest African nations - a plight made worse by the global economic downturn.
The GDP per capital - how much each citizen would get if the country's wealth were to be evenly divided - stands at only $394.
This is made worse by the fact that CAR suffers from a notoriously uneven distribution of wealth. And, the grants from France and others in the international community are simply not enough to address the country's vast humanitarian needs.