Central African Republic - The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has called for security to be re-established along the main roads in Central African Republic (CAR) to allow access for vital aid and humanitarian staff, as 38 trucks with a month’s supply of food for 155,000 people remained blocked at the frontier. But despite the ongoing violence and insecurity, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said on Saturday that the agency was providing aid to more than 110,000 displaced people in Bangui, the capital, and other towns.
She said the trucks have been blocked at the border with Cameroon since 6 Jan., first because there was no custom officer due to the security situation, and then when the drivers refused to proceed because of the ongoing insecurity along the road to Bangui.
She, however, said on Friday, a convoy from the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) arrived at the frontier to try to help the trucks destined for Bangui.
'As a last resort, WFP had started to work on an alternative, an airlift of 3,000 metric tonnes of food from Douala, Cameroon, but that would substantially increase the cost of the emergency operation in CAR,' Ms. Byrs noted.
The WFP official also said that, in the immediate term, the agency has prioritised distributions
at the Bangui airport camp, which hosts 100,000 people who have fled the violence.
'Since 7 January, the agency has distributed two-week rations of cereals, pulses and oil to over 40,000 beneficiaries. A further 25,000 displaced people also received food rations in January in smaller camps across Bangui.
'Also, WFP resumed its monthly food distribution to 40,000 beneficiaries in the town of Bossangoa today, and last week provided food to 1,209 people who had returned
to the nearby village of Zere,' she said.
She said clashes at checkpoints along the Beloko-Bangui corridor continued to hamper the movement of trucks, with cereal stocks running low and close to being exhausted.