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CAR Humanitarian Situation Continues to Deteriorate

  • Kim Lewis

The International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, said it is continuing to assist families who fled renewed fighting in recent weeks in the main towns of the Central African Republic. The organization expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation as people have been forced to take refuge in the bush.

In response, volunteers from the ICRC and the CAR Red Cross said they are distributing food and burying the dead.

Nadia Dibsy, the CAR Red Cross Society spokesperson in Bangui, said the Red Cross just conducted a visit to the western town of Yaloke’, where recent fighting took place.

“We conducted an inter-departmental mission to Yaloke’-- meaning we had our protection department, our water and sanitation, economic security and health, together with the Central African Red Cross—that was the end of October. So we were able to visit, we were able to speak to local officials, and speak to the displaced. What the objective was to see what was the situation of the displaced, what is happening with them now, and to evaluate their needs,” explained Dibsy.

She said the Red Cross is still evaluating the status of the displaced, but from what they have seen, people are still lacking the basic needs and depend on the families hosting them for survival. Dibsy emphasized this must be taken into consideration as they determine what is needed most at this time.

In addition to assessing the needs of the displaced, Red Cross volunteers have also been assisting with the burial of people who have died in recent weeks.

“So the idea is to deal with these dead bodies as soon as possible, and then to look into were these casualties due to illness, or were they due to violence…,” asked Dibsy.

In the area of Yaloke’, Dibsy said about 32 bodies were recently buried as an emergency response to avoid the spread of disease in the area.