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26 million Africans missing out on humanitarian aid due to conflict

Violence and armed conflicts are stopping about 26 million people in Africa from receiving humanitarian and medical aid, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.

Violence and armed conflicts are stopping about 26 million people in Africa from receiving humanitarian and medical aid, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.

Aid agencies, it said, had limited access to 16.8 million people in the Sahel zone and the Lake Chad region in the north of the continent, 5.5 million people in East Africa and 1.5 million people in Central Africa.

“Clashes between non-state armed groups and government forces prevent aid organizations from reaching those most in need in Africa. Too often, it is the people who are not involved in the fighting who suffer the most in conflict,” said ICRC Africa director Patrick Youssef.

The Red Cross needs to negotiate with 230 armed militias, for example, to provide water, food and health services to people in affected areas, he said.

Armed groups are active in many parts of Africa, some of which have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

Other militias and rebel groups fight for political influence or control over mineral resources. Criminal syndicates also pose a threat in many countries.

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