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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

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

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid