The Central African Republic is Africa's forgotten country. A landlocked former French colony of just under four million people, the country is struggling to avoid economic and social chaos. The Central African Republic is one of the least developed countries: few people there live beyond 40, 13 percent of children die in infancy and only a third of the population has access to safe drinking water. There is just one hospital bed for every one thousand people and one nurse to every 8,000 people.
Many of the CAR's problems could be solved by money. But appeals for aid have fallen largely on deaf ears. Only a handful of aid agencies continue to work there, and the amount of aid it gets is pitiful compared to other sub-Saharan countries. In 2003, it received just $12.9 USD per person. Life interviewed the President, François Bozizé, who confirms that health is the country's top priority. Bozizé has pledged to restore the country's national unity and security, but foreign governments have been slow to respond to his repeated requests for assistance and support.
The other titles in the series are:
1. Roma Rights - Breaking the cycle of Roma poverty and persecution.
2. School's Out! - Is the private school option better in a Lagos shantytown?
3. Srebrenica - Looking For Justice - Examines the massacre at Srebrenica on its 10th anniversary.
4. Killing Poverty - Has the corruption in Kenya lessened under its new president?
5. The Great Health Service Swindle - Reversing the brain drain in doctors and nurses from developing countries.
6. The Donor Circus - Zambia tries to change the conditions for international aid.
7. For Richer, For Poorer - In Brazil the gulf between the rich and the poor is one of the biggest in the world.
8. Kill Or Cure? - India's $4.5 billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that serves the world's poor is at a crossroads.
10. Cash Flow Fever - One in ten people on the planet either send or receive money from abroad.
11. Back In Business? - After 11 years of civil war, can Sierra Leone expect tourism to improve the economy?.
12. Kosovo - A House Still Divided? - Resentment and property ownership issues remain as the UN Housing Property Directorate Mission ends.
13. Trouble In Paradise - Local inhabitants of the Maldives wait for promised tsunami aid.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2005
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-593-8
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-592-X
"The visual impact of the gripping documentaries in the Life 5 series make them extremely powerful teaching tools for university, and indeed, other classrooms. In succinct episodes they raise and contextualise some of the most critical issues in the world today. These episodes are produced in an extremely objective manner and allow an audience easily to come to grips with an array of complex problems. They ought to be an indispensable part of the teaching curriculum."
Dr. Jeremy Sarkin, Visiting Professor of International Human Rights, Tufts University