More than 17,000 people arrived in Paoua, Central Africa Republic, having fled their villages due to fighting or fear of attack. An ICRC team has been present in since 30 November helping the thousands of displaced people.
Most of them, including thousands of children, came empty-handed. They sought refuge around the church, health care centre, with host families or simply under trees. Their situation remains precarious.
"We left everything behind when we fled our homes," said one village head. "Our sesame and bean crops are ripe and need to be harvested. We will lose our crops, too, if we can't go home soon."
Last Sunday, the ICRC, in partnership with the local Red Cross, began distributing food and essential household items for 8,500 people. Another round of distribution is planned for 1,300 displaced families from villages between Betoko and Paoua.
A team of ICRC engineers and technicians have begun repairing water points. Jerrycans will be distributed to each family.
"Our partners, including volunteers of the Red Cross of the Central African Republic (CRCA), have helped us from the start to respond to this crisis," said an ICRC delegate, Daniel Cabello Llamas. "The CRCA has played a crucial role in the good organization and implementation of the distributions."