The town of Bouar is about 450 kilometers west of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. Thousands of people displaced by the violence in the country have come to the town, seeking safety.
VOA reporter Bagassi Koura recently spent two weeks in the Central African Republic. She reports that Christians displaced by the fighting are struggling to get enough to eat. But, the country’s food crisis affects more than just the people who have fled the violence. Many other people in Bouar are hungry too, and need food aid.
Once a month, the United Nations World Food Program gives food to people in Bouar. People line up to wait for the food. Tensions grow as the hours pass. African Union soldiers are on guard near the line.
Madeleine Kim-Mboussa was recently among those waiting for food. She and her six children fled their village a few weeks ago after Seleka rebels attacked. She said the Seleka killed all the rest of her family. She said that is why she came to Bouar.
A man in the line, Michel Sourou Baye, has eight children. He has no money, no job and no way to feed his family. After some time, Madeleine Kim-Mboussa’s wait has ended. A worker calls her name, and she gets her food. She is given 50 kilograms of rice, 10 kilograms of beans and two liters of cooking oil.
However, before she leaves people steal some of her aid. With the help of other women, Ms. Kim-Mboussa finds the thieves and gets back her food. She returned home with all the aid she was given. And she said she hopes she would be able to feed her family for another month.