News / Africa

Agricultural Crisis Looms in CAR

FILE - John Ging, head of operations at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
FILE - John Ging, head of operations at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Nick Long
The United Nations says farmers in the Central African Republic need seeds and tools before the next planting season if they are to stave off a nationwide food crisis. 

Two senior UN officials were in Bangui this week:  John Ging, operations director of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Dominique Burgeon, emergencies director for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Speaking at a news conference, Ging told reporters the international community must help Central Africans displaced by conflict to plant enough food for the next harvest - and the next planting season starts in March.

"The most urgent needs are exactly what you would expect - assistance with the seeds and tools for helping themselves to recover their livelihoods. We’ve got to focus on helping people to help themselves," he said.

The United Nations estimates that 886,000 people are displaced by conflict within CAR, most of them since September. It says that not enough land was planted because of the turmoil in the country throughout last year. Food stocks are now very low and there is a shortage of seeds.
 
A complete breakdown in law and order last year meant that in many areas seed stocks, tools, livestock, and virtually everything else was stolen by bandits and entire villages were burned to the ground.

Human Rights Watch reports that the Seleka rebels who took power last March pillaged many areas even after their leader Michel Djotodia had become president.

The Food and Agriculture Organization says more than one million people in this country of about 4.5 million have no reliable food supply.

Ging called for more aid organizations to come to the Central African Republic quickly to lend their expertise and experience.

"We need more of the large international non-governmental organizations [NGOs] to come here - urgently" he said. "If you go to any of the countries where we have very large humanitarian operations, you will see all of the big international non-governmental organizations present in those countries. Many of those large international organizations are not present in this country."

Ging also appealed for more funding to meet CAR's needs. So far, he said, only $30 million had been received in response to an appeal for $247 million, and those needs are increasing.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid