News / Africa

WFP Warehouses in Central African Republic Looted

x
Lisa Schlein
— The U.N. World Food Program says it has received confirmation that its warehouses in three rebel-held cities in the Central African Republic have been looted.   

A spokeswoman for the World Food Program, Elizabeth Byrs, tells VOA her agency has just learned that hundreds of tons of food aid have been stolen from WFP warehouses across the country.  

“In the three rebel-held cities -- Bambari, Bria and Kgabandoro -- we have confirmation that the food is lost and also that our office and the guesthouse where the staff was located had been attacked and looted,” said Byrs.

Byrs says the looting took place after WFP suspended humanitarian operations in the CAR late last month because of the deteriorating security situation.  Rebels began an offensive against the government on December 10 and have moved to within 100 kilometers of the capital, Bangui.

All WFP staff, as well as other U.N. agencies personnel, was evacuated to Cameroon on December 26 and 29 for their safety.  

Byrs says it is impossible to confirm right now whether WFP’s other sub-offices and warehouses also have been looted.  But, she adds so far there has been no attack on the warehouse in the capital, which holds about 1,000 tons of food.  That is enough to feed some 300,000 people for one week.

Byrs says WFP is ready to resume its humanitarian operation throughout the CAR as soon as the security situation allows.  She says the agency is waiting to learn the outcome of a U.N. security assessment, which is currently underway in Bangui.

“Humanitarian partners are preparing to deploy an assessment team under the UNICEF-led rapid response mechanism in the conflict-affected areas,” said Byrs.  "We still need the green light for this rapid assessment.  It is expected to take place this week and it will be followed by another more in-depth inter-agency assessment provided that the rebels and the government allow humanitarian access to this area.”   

Byrs says WFP is currently unable to send any of its national staff remaining in the CAR to rebel-held areas for safety reasons.   She says WFP also has not been able to fly food and other relief items to any of these destinations.

She notes many regions in the CAR are inaccessible because of very poor roads, so U.N. humanitarian flights are the only means of access to those areas.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid