A map of Central African Republic The Central African Republic (often abbreviated to CAR) is a landlocked country in the middle of Africa. Decades of political unrest have left its people among of the world’s poorest. Most of the land is fairly flat, covered by savanna merging with the Sahel scrubland in the north, and rainforest to the south. The only uplands are the Karre Mountains in the west and the Massif des Bongo in the northeast. The CAR has a hot, tropical climate with two seasons, rainy and dry. During the dry season, a cool, dusty wind from the Sahara, the harmattan, blows across the north. In the south, the rivers often flood during the rainy season.
The CAR is home to more than 80 different ethnic groups. The largest are the Baya and Banda who together make up more than half the population. Most people speak Ubangian languages, such as Sango. The CAR is a difficult and often dangerous place to live. Life is especially hard for children: many have lost their parents in fighting during the recent civil wars, and a lot of schools have been closed down. Today, about two-thirds of Central Africans live in poverty; tens of thousands have had to leave their homes as refugees to escape violence.
Nearly half of the Central African Republic’s population is under 14 years old.
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