For more than a month, armed groups have been preventing freight cars from circulating on the Douala-Bangui axis, which is crucial for the supply of the Central African Republic. Result: 1,600 trucks are stuck at the border, 500 of which belong to the UN and its humanitarian partners. Inside there is food and medicine among other things. The UN warns of the “social drama” that the population will suffer if the blockade continues.
With our special correspondent in Bangui, Florence morice
Last Monday, a convoy, however accompanied by Minusca, was attacked. It was the first in weeks to attempt the trip to Bangui. He finally returned. Nearly 1.5 million Central Africans depend on food aid to survive, warns the World Food Program. A total of 48 trucks belonging to the organization are now stuck at the border with lots of food stuck in the port of Douala.
An unsustainable situation warns Aline Rumonge, Deputy Director of the World Food Program in Bangui: “We lack rice, beans, we lack oil. We have it, but not in sufficient quantities to be able to continue. “
Prior to the presidential election, the UN agencies had taken stock, but the UN Humanitarian Coordination Office (Ocha) fears the worst if the situation stalls. Especially since this blockade leads to an increase in market prices, more than 50% in some cities.
At this rate, the already very high number of food-insecure Central Africans is likely to increase further, warns Rosaria Bruno, Deputy Director of the Ocha Office in the Central African Republic: “We know that because of insecurity we have fewer people. who cultivates. We are therefore very concerned about the purchasing power of the people affected. ”
The effect is not only on food. Certain products that are important to aid workers, such as fuel, are running out of places. “Last week, for example, heating oil was sent by plane to Bangassou. To keep vehicles running to continue providing humanitarian aid, you need heating oil,” Rosaria Bruno insists.
Another source of concern is a possible disruption of the drinking water network. Among the products stuck in Cameroon, there are actually stocks of chlorine destined for Sodeca, the water distribution company in the Central African Republic.