After a weekend of violence, the Central African Republic capital of Bangui is experiencing a gradual return to a state of calm. In the wake of a coup, the country's rebel leader has assumed the role of president and been recognized by the national army. But destruction is pervasive, looting continues, and an already fragile health care system hangs in the balance. Action Against Hunger was not immune from loss; one of our bases, in Bossangoa, was destroyed.
“The looting and destruction was massive, especially in hospitals. Health facilities were already grossly inadequate compared to the needs. This makes it so much worse.”
—Alain Coutand, Regional Director, Action Against Hunger
The good news is that despite the insecurity, the treatment of malnourished children in health centers that we support was able to continue.
Coutand noted that the coming weeks are a critical time for our teams to meet the emergency needs of the most vulnerable citizens, providing nutrition, access to water, and mental health support to those who have been traumatized by the terrorizing events of recent days. Our therapeutic nutrition programs for children have continued under harrowing circumstances, and our teams plan to run evaluations to stay on top of the need and escalate our response.
More than 30% of households here cannot adequately cover their food needs. Underdevelopment is linked to three main causes: the country's isolation, insufficient international aid, and political instability. Indeed the impact of the last is being felt strongly right now. But we're committed to staying in the Central African Republic, restoring hope and dignity for its people.