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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid