The Central African Republic remains one of the world's most silent health crises. The landlocked country, with a population of just under four million people, lies in the heart of Africa, surrounded by Sudan, Chad, Congo and, on the other side of the Obangui River, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bangui, the capital, is home to approximately 620 000 people. The health system of the Central African Republic is largely co-financed by external aid (85%). Much of the population have little or no access to essential health services and an inability of the system to control epidemics has led to a health crisis. Despite a United Nations appeal and the World Health Organization's repeated requests for contributions, the Central African Republic's health sector has received no funding for the past two years.