26 million most vulnerable Africans inaccessible


Humanitarian crisis in Africa

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) THERE is alarm at the lack of humanitarian access for 26 million people in Africa.

According to a new estimate from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), humanitarian groups have difficulty reaching these people most in need, where access to basic services like medical care is extremely limited due to violence and armed conflict.

A majority of these (16,8 million) are in the Sahel and Lake Chad region, while 5,5 million are in East Africa.

More than 1,5 million are in Central Africa, with smaller pockets found elsewhere.

Patrick Youssef, ICRC’s director for Africa, said clashes between non-state armed groups and government forces prevent aid organisations from reaching those most in need throughout the African continent.

“Too often, it is the people who are not involved in the fighting who suffer the most in conflict,” he said.

The ICRC seeks to communicate with all the parties involved in conflict, in an effort to assess needs and provide assistance to the most vulnerable.

In Africa, the ICRC has established direct contact with 230 non-state armed groups.

“Our dialogue with arms carriers is a humanitarian imperative to allow people to have access to water, food and health services,” said Youssef.

ICRC has called on all actors to respect international humanitarian law and other applicable norms, in particular by respecting and protecting humanitarian workers, civilian populations and their infrastructure, such as homes, schools and health centres.

The lack of humanitarian access for 26 million people is a significant figure as Africa’s total population is estimated at 1,385 billion.

– CAJ News













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