News release

Central African Republic: Aid for more than 14,000 people in Kaga Bandoro

Bangui (ICRC) – More than 14,000 people living in the Kaga Bandoro area, in the north-central part of the Central African Republic, have been given seed, farm tools, food and basic household essentials. The distribution of these items, which began at the beginning of August, was completed yesterday.

Since the beginning of the year, villages in Nana Gribizi prefecture have experienced several series of clashes and attacks involving armed groups. Many inhabitants have had to flee and travel dozens of kilometres to take refuge in the bush or in other communities. Some of them, however, may be able to return.

"Calm has returned to some places," said Ariane Bauer, head of the sub-delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kaga Bandoro. "People are gradually returning to their homes and attempting to resume work in the fields. Because of the crisis and the looting, however, they have found themselves without the seed and tools they need for farming." The ICRC has therefore given bean and sesame seed together with hoes to more than 8,500 people who returned to 15 villages in the Boto area, between 10 and 45 kilometres west of Kaga Bandoro. The aid, provided during the sowing season, should enable the returnees to harvest at least some cash crops and meet their needs.

People who are unable to go home are still depending on host families, who often can no longer support them, especially during the lean period between harvests. The ICRC has therefore supplied them with food and household essentials. In seven villages around Farazala, north of Kaga Bandoro, more than 5,000 people have been given rice, cooking oil, beans and salt. In addition, the ICRC has distributed basic household items to more than 1,000 displaced people.

The ICRC continues to promote the cultivation of disease-resistant cassava by eight farmers' groups in areas near the city of Kaga Bandoro.

For further information, please contact:
Germain Mwehu, ICRC Bangui, tel: +236 75 64 30 07