Over 2,500 displaced persons have received food aid from the ICRC in Grimari, Centre-east, Central African Republic.
Grimari was the theatre of clashes between the Central African Republic national army and armed groups, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes into the bushes while others found refuge in urban centres.
“Numerous families have lost everything. They live under very precarious conditions and depend on humanitarian assistance to be able to feed,” said Oumarou Rabiou Daddy, head of the sub-delegation of the ICRC in Bambari.
The food distribution which started on Wednesday, April 7, in Grimari and Ngoulinga is continuing and would cover the urgent food needs of over 12,500 persons, according to the official.
Each family receives rice, cowpea, oil and salt to last for one month.
“It has been long since I last saw my children this happy. We are going through very difficult moments because we lost everything during the last clashes,” says Mireille, a lady who was forced to flee from Grimari with her five children.
“Bit by bit, I hope to rebuild my life. I find myself having rice and beans to cook a meal for the family and this makes me very happy,” she added.
Due to insecurity caused by the armed conflict, farmers who constitute a majority of the local population saw part of their harvest looted or burnt by armed groups.
Besides urgent needs, the ICRC has as its short term ambition, to assist the vulnerable populations to meet their food needs autonomously.
The ICRC said it hopes to, in the coming weeks, supply maize, groundnut, okra, and cowpea seeds as well as agricultural tools to the families, to help them relaunch their food production activities in meeting nutritional and economic needs.
“The seeds would help the communities relaunch their agricultural activities by producing enough to feed and depend less on humanitarian assistance. We hope that a good harvest would permit them to economize some seeds for the next planting season,” declared Christian Gneba, Coordinator of the Economic and Security Programme of the ICRC.