News / Africa

Malaria, Malnutrition on the Rise in CAR

Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
x
Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
Fighters for the Seleka rebel alliance stand guard in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
Anne Look
Five French aid agencies working in the Central African Republic say the precarious security situation since the rebel takeover earlier this year is holding up donor funding for humanitarian relief.  The agencies say severe food shortages and a spike in malaria pose a threat to tens of thousands of displaced people.

In the seven months since the start of the Seleka rebellion in the CAR, aid agencies say the humanitarian situation, particularly in the rural areas, has gone from bad to worse.

Aid agency presence in the country is at an all-time low.  United Nations agencies withdrew to the capital, Bangui, in December for security reasons.The political situation remains very unstable.

Clement Cazaubon is the CAR Country Director for the Paris-based agency, Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger) or ACF, one of five French non-governmental organizations (NGO) calling on the United Nations to redeploy outside the capital.

NGOs rely on the U.N. system for financing, operational support, and coordination of humanitarian activities in the field, Cazaubon said. The aid agencies have encouraged U.N. groups to redeploy to their offices in the country and to support the NGOs, some of which, he added, never left their areas of operation despite the immense difficulties that included looting and threats to their personnel.

ACF lost $250,000 worth of humanitarian supplies when two of its bases were attacked during the rebellion, Cazaubon said.

According to Human Rights Watch, rebels and other armed groups continue to attack civilians in rural areas. Insecurity has pushed more than 200,000 people in the CAR to flee their homes since December.  Fields have been abandoned, and grain stocks looted.

Many of the displaced are living without shelter in the forest.

Cazaubon said villagers who would normally get water from underground wells now only have access to water from swamps and other contaminated sources that can make them sick. Food options are limited to what they can find. He added the quantity and nutritional quality of what they are eating has been "drastically reduced" for months now, putting children at particular risk of malnutrition.

Access to medical care is also a concern.

Paris-based Doctors without Borders says its clinics have treated at least 60,000 cases of malaria this year.  

That represents a 30 to 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year and it does not bode well for the annual peak in malaria cases expected in July and August, said Isabelle Le Gann, a country mission director for the agency.  She said the trend is worrying because many of the doctors and staff from local health centers have fled and the supply of medicine to treat malaria has been largely cut off to areas outside the capital.  

To make matter worse, Doctors without Borders reports that aid agencies have received just 31 percent of the international funding requested in March to deal with the crisis.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More