While the government and rebels reportedly try to implement a ceasefire in the Central African Republic, tens of thousands of people remain displaced and hiding in the bush.
The International Rescue Committee is one of the aid agencies now operating in the CAR. Bob Kitchen is head of the IRC’s operations there. From Bangui, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about current conditions.
“The situation continues to be very bad. There’s still more than 150,000 displaced across the northwest and northeast of the country. And while in the last couple of weeks a number of other international aid agencies have arrived to assess the situation and try and provide support, the situation continues to be very poor. People continue to try and stay alive in the bush, having been displaced from their homes at gunpoint. They’re still struggling to find enough food and still struggling to gain access to health care. And they’re still becoming very sick as a result of living in the bush,” he says.
Kitchen says the IRC has begun registering people in the communities where the agency will provide blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans and other non-food items. The IRC also expects to soon get local hospitals and health clinics up to speed to handle large numbers of people instead of the handful they care for daily now. (