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UN: Half of CAR in Need of Aid

A French soldier waves through traffic as he mans a roadblock in the Miskine neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 6, 2014.
The U.N. political affairs chief said the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic is deteriorating at an alarming rate following a wave of sectarian violence.

Jerry Feltman told the U.N. Security Council Monday that more than 935,000 people are now sleeping outside or in temporary spaces.

He said that about half the country's population, about 2.2 million people, need assistance. He said the situation in the capital, Bangui, is particularly dire.

"One in every two inhabitants of Bangui have sought refuge outside their homes. Their numbers are estimated at approximately 513,000, of whom 100,000 are at a makeshift camp at the airport," said Feltman.

Feltman also said the death toll in Bangui alone is now over 750; casualties outside the capital are likely to be substantial as well.

The Central African Republic has been in a state of chaos since early December, when Christian militias launched attacks in Bangui, hoping to overthrow Muslim coup leader Michel Djotodia. The attacks unleashed a wave of sectarian violence.

The unrest has continued despite the presence of several thousand French and African soldiers, who have attempted to disarm the militias.