News / Africa

Medical Aid Group Launches Fundraiser for Central Africa Republic

Yaman Ahmat, center, sits with her children at Bangui Airport after only hours earlier, her husband Marcus Madi, had put her and their eight children including newborn daughter Ashta onto a flight to the capital in a desperate bid to save their lives, but he was tragically killed on his return from the airport, March 7, 2014.
Yaman Ahmat, center, sits with her children at Bangui Airport after only hours earlier, her husband Marcus Madi, had put her and their eight children including newborn daughter Ashta onto a flight to the capital in a desperate bid to save their lives, but he was tragically killed on his return from the airport, March 7, 2014.
The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders -- known by its French acronym MSF -- has launched an appeal in South Africa to raise $50,000 for its operations in the Central African Republic (CAR).   The campaign -- called #ActForCAR -- says the funds are urgently needed to help some of the 1 million Central Africans displaced over the past 15 months.

Speaking at the launch of the MSF fundraising drive in Johannesburg on Wednesday, South African psychologist Gail Wormersley said thousands of displaced people in the CAR are living in human misery and terror.

She appealed to South Africans to urgently donate at least $50,000 for water purification, malaria treatment, food supplements for children and general medical care.

Wormersley, who spent six weeks in the CAR providing psychological counseling to patients and MSF staff, described the mood of the victims as dominated by hopelessness.

“What I saw is people who have been exposed to such high levels of conflict and of trauma, almost reached a stage where they stop feeling, it’s a stage of feeling absolutely overwhelmed and powerless in the face of the situation and a level of despair," explained Wormersley. "Where people almost want to say, "Let me give up, I can’t handle this situation.'"

South African TV personality and businessman Masego Maponya was also on hand and asked South Africans to do their part in saving lives.

“We’re here today to really call to action and appeal to the public to try and raise this 500,000 rand because we feel that it’s reachable.  If you think about it, it’s 50 rand from 10,000 people and every single cent really, really counts, no matter how much anyone contributes.” Maponya stated.

The crisis in the CAR began a year ago when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew the president and launched a wave of killing and looting -- provoking a backlash from mostly Christian militias known as the anti-balaka.   

At least one quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have been displaced and are in need of urgent medical care both inside the country and in refugee camps in neighboring Chad and Cameroon.

Wormersley said every month MSF medical staff provides nearly 30,000 consultations but that is not enough. 

“All South Africans have a role that they can play, be it giving 50 rand to the appeal. A 100 rand can provide 200,000 liters of safe drinking water.  Five hundred rand gives us enough medical equipment to care for the mothers who have to deliver babies safely under these incredibly stressful situations,” said Wormersley.

South Africa - the economic powerhouse on the continent - was among the first to respond to the growing CAR crisis in 2013.  It dispatched several hundred soldiers only to withdraw shortly after when 13 were killed and nearly 30 badly injured during the Seleka-backed coup.

MSF hopes South Africans feel solidarity through loss and contribute.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs