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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora