Stranded at Bangui Airport: The Refugee Crisis in Central African Republic (PHOTOS)

Peter Biro/IRC

Peter Biro/IRC

Sectarian violence in the Central African Republic has forced an estimated million people from their homes. Some 60,000 of them have sought shelter at M’Poko, the capital Bangui’s international airport. These extraordinary photographs were taken by Peter Biro of the International Rescue Committee.

Peter Biro/IRC

Over 60,000 people have sought shelter at M'Poko, the international airport of Bangui.

Peter Biro/IRC

An estimated 2.5 million people—more than half the country’s population—are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Central African Republic, already one of the world's poorest countries.

Peter Biro/IRC

Peter Biro/IRC

As many as a third of families living in the displacement camps are headed by women who  have separated from their husbands or are widowed or abandoned.

Peter Biro/IRC

Overcrowding in displacement camps means that refugees lack secure washrooms, which leaves women and girls at risk of attack every time they visit the bathroom.

Peter Biro/IRC

Malnutrition rates are also soaring as a result of the turmoil, with an estimated 1.6 million people struggling to find food daily. Jefphte, 8 months, lives with his family in an unused airport hangar. Severely malnourished, the boy weighs only 3 kilos (6.6 pounds), well below the normal weight for his age.

Peter Biro/IRC

Valérie Deganai holds her new-born daughter Arlette. The girl was born in their makeshift shelter at Bangui airport on 13 April 2014.

Peter Biro/IRC

A boy plays in an old abandoned Russian propeller airplane.

Peter Biro/IRC

The few Muslims remaining in Bangui are clustered in the city’s PK5 district. “We are prisoners here,” Fatou Fall, who lives on the grounds of the local mosque, told the International Rescue Committee. “If we leave here, we will be killed.”

Peter Biro/IRC

On April 27, some 1,300 Muslims were evacuated under heavily armed escort from Bangui's PK12 neighborhood to the border with Chad. On the way north the convoy was attacked and two people were killed.

Peter Biro/IRC

Peter Biro/IRC

A boy collecting firewood walks across Bangui airport's only runway, minutes after an Air France airbus from Paris landed.