Nightly News   |  January 09, 2014

Airport becomes hub for thousands of refugees

Bangui Airport now is the Central African Republic’s largest camp for displaced people. NBC News’ Ann Curry reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we have more tonight in the crisis currently playing out in africa. there has been new violence playing out in the last 24 hours in the central african republic , happening since the coup took place last march. some forces are there, some french, but not enough to keep them from fighting, a million people involved in the disaster. ann curry is in the city of bang bangui, where they came to help.

>> reporter: people took shelter under the wings of the abandoned planes. this is bangui airport, now, the area where the people displaced have come, now, trying to end the violence, in this desperate place she tries to manage the unmanageable. she is from norway, a former producer of that country's "who wants to be a millionaire" before she had an awakening.

>> at the end of the day it is just a tv show .

>> reporter: she is now with doctors without borders, tending lost children in the 50-bed hospital, to looking over thousands of vaccinations.

>> in a camp like this, we look at a high risk of epidemic.

>> reporter: she also runs a make shift clinic that treats 400 people a day. we met the doctor from seattle there, who also left her old life behind. after her 12-year marriage ended in divorce, she discovered her calling.

>> it is difficult, it is challenging, it is stressful. but it is very -- rewarding.

>> reporter: why?

>> because you can make an immediate difference.

>> reporter: she deals with everything from the casualties of war to pregnancies. newborns.

>> he is not breast feeding very well.

>> reporter: and her own struggle to stay hopeful. a 7 month-old child died here this morning.

>> every time you lose a child or patient it is always difficult.

>> reporter: but in the chaos here, she has found clarity.

>> if you can make an impact somehow, some way, even one-on-one in this grand scheme of chaos, all the terrible conditions, to me, that is meaningful.

>> reporter: finding meaning where lives hang in the balance. ann curry , nbc news, bangui.