Kevin Clarke, America Magazine’s Senior Editor and Chief Correspondent, is in the Central African Republic this week with staff from Catholic Relief Services, reporting on the impact recent violence has made on communities. From America:
The truck lurches and weaves with every rut and gully on the bush trail—and there are many of them—in slow, but steady progress through to the outlying villages around Bossangoa. The day before two large lorries broke down repeatedly during the same exercise through these small villages that surround this northern Central African Republic city, and this morning, May 3, an adroit mechanic cannibalized parts from a third vehicle to ensure that the others would make it into the bush and back again. The cargo it carries each patient kilometer, corn and peanut seed meant to salvage the growing season, is a precious, life-saving weight.
“We could be looking at a famine in the Central African Republic in August,” says Kyla Neilan, a program manager for Catholic Relief Services based in Bossangoa, a community hard-hit but the months of disorder and communal violence in C.A.R. “It’s make or break this harvest season. If people have food to eat in August, they can start to recover. If people don’t have seeds in the ground now, and they have no crop in August … people will start to die.”
Podcast: In CAR, a Harvest in Disarray, and interview by America Magazine with CRS’ Kyla Neilan
Video: CRS Responds to the Deepening Central African Republic Crisis
CRS Welcomes UN Resolution on Peacekeepers in Central African Republic