BEIRUT

World

U.N. launches emergency food airlift to Central Africa

People displaced by inter-communal violence in the country rest near planes in a camp for displaced persons at Bangui M'Poko International Airport February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

BANGUI: The UN food agency on Wednesday was set to launch an airlift of emergency food supplies to the Central African Republic, though it admits it will not be enough to meet the desperate need in the crisis-hit nation.

The World Food Programme said it would fly a month's supply of food from Douala in Cameroon to the Central African capital of Bangui which would be enough for 150,000 people.

"This is a rather exceptional operation, our biggest emergency air operation in a long time, bigger that for Syria and the Philippines," WFP spokesman Alexis Masciarelli told AFP.

But he added that the operation "would not definitively solve the problem".

According to the United Nations, 1.3 million people, nearly a quarter of the population of the CAR, need immediate food aid, particularly in the camps of displaced people numbering more than 800,000 who have sought refuge there from the sectarian violence that has erupted in the country.

The first WFP cargo plane carrying 80 tonnes of rice is expected to arrive in Bangui on Wednesday morning. It will be followed by 24 daily rotations for a total of around 1,800 tonnes, according to the WFP.

The humanitarian situation in the CAR has deteriorated since a coup in March 2013 led by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels plunged the country into chaos and led to an outbreak of sectarian attacks between the Muslim ex-rebels and Christian vigilantes.

Amnesty International on Wednesday reported that "ethnic cleansing" was being carried out against Muslim civilians in the majority Christian nation, and that international peacekeepers have been unable to stop it.

Amnesty said it had documented at least 200 killings of Muslim civilians by Christian militia groups.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

The UN food agency on Wednesday was set to launch an airlift of emergency food supplies to the Central African Republic, though it admits it will not be enough to meet the desperate need in the crisis-hit nation.

According to the United Nations, 1.3 million people, nearly a quarter of the population of the CAR, need immediate food aid, particularly in the camps of displaced people numbering more than 800,000 who have sought refuge there from the sectarian violence that has erupted in the country.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here