MSF Says Food Insecurity, Disease Worsening In CAR, Calls For More Humanitarian Aid

“The precarious security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is worsening seasonal food insecurity and increasing the burden of disease, especially among children, warns a humanitarian official” from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), IRIN reports. Ellen Van Der Velden, the head of mission of MSF in CAR, said the group has seen an increase in acute malnutrition and malaria among children, as well as reduced access to health care because of a lack of staff and medical supplies, the news agency notes (7/9). “Attacks and looting were common in Bangui, where a transitional government that includes some of the rebels has failed to keep order, MSF said in a report ahead of a visit by U.N. and European Union humanitarian chiefs on Thursday,” Reuters reports. “No one from the interim government was immediately available to comment on the MSF report on Tuesday,” the news agency writes (Felix, 7/9). “U.N. agencies and many [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] have withdrawn to Bangui, leaving the majority of the country without aid,” The Guardian notes, adding, “According to MSF, the people of CAR — 4.4 million people spread across a country bigger than France — have effectively been abandoned just when they most need help.” The newspaper continues, “MSF called on relief groups to maintain their commitment to CAR, and allocate adequate resources to respond to the medical and humanitarian crisis in the country” (Tran, 7/9). The newspaper also provides a photo gallery of the health care crisis in the country (7/9).