News / Africa

Food Aid Distributed at CAR's Bangui Airport

A displaced refugee woman carries a rice bag after receiving it as humanitarian aid at the airport outside the capital Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
A displaced refugee woman carries a rice bag after receiving it as humanitarian aid at the airport outside the capital Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
Nick Long
International aid agencies are trying to distribute food aid and other assistance to an estimated 100,000 displaced people living in makeshift tents at the airport in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. Most of the people camping next to the French army base at Bangui airport fled there in early December to escape an outbreak of deadly communal violence.
 
The bulk of this displaced population has received no food aid until now.
 
A spokesman for the UN refugee agency, Bernard Ntwari, said that distributing aid at this densely populated camp has been difficult.
 
He said the distribution of food had to be suspended here several times because of a lack of security, but now, with collaboration from the displaced people’s leaders, they have been able to clear a site for the operation.
 
The distribution of food and other essentials, such as buckets for water and waterproof mats, was restarted Tuesday and is due to last for 10 days.
 
An experienced aid worker told VOA he had never seen a camp where people were packed together so tightly, a sign of how desperate they are to get close to the French army’s protection.
 
The aid agencies are urgently seeking an alternative site for some of the displaced to avoid health risks from overcrowding.
 
Since last year, the World Food Program has been distributing food in three areas of the Central African Republic where many people have fled violence: Bangui and the towns of Bossangoa and Bouar, areas where ex-president Francois Bozize, who lost power in a coup last March, still commands strong support.
 
However, there are many other parts of the country where people have fled their homes. The U.N. refugee agency has said there could be nearly 1 million displaced people in the C.A.R.
 
  • A man is ejected from an aid distribution point after he entered without the ticket that gives access to food and supplies at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • People wait to receive food and supplies from an aid distribution point set up inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • A man carries away food supplies from an aid distribution point set up inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Newly-cleared plots of land are marked for settlement inside a makeshift camp at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Displaced people clear scrub brush for a new settlement area, inside a makeshift camp housing an estimated 100,000 displaced people, at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Jan. 7, 2014.

Ingela Kristiansson, who reports on the distributions for the World Food Program, said getting access to some of the displaced is a challenge.
 
“It’s a difficulty everywhere in the Central African Republic. I would say even in Bangui access is also difficult, but we always work with communities and community leaders to be able to access areas that are difficult or dangerous,” said Kristiansson.
 
The agencies aim to distribute 10 days' worth of cereals, pulses (lentils) and cooking oil to the displaced families at the airport.
 
People at the camp told VOA they cannot go home because killings are continuing in their neighborhoods.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid