Tanzania: Oxfam says Central African Republic cannot face another year abandoned

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Ahead of an international donor meeting in Brussels on Thursday, global humanitarian agency Oxfam has warned that the people of Central African Republic (CAR) cannot face another year of the present dire situation which has left half of the 4.8 million population in need of humanitarian assistance.

In a report published on Tuesday, Oxfam said that the UN appeal fund was still only 32% funded as the end of this year approaches.

"One of the poorest countries in the world, the people are in extreme need: two million people are struggling to find enough to eat; 65% of the population lacks access to safe drinking water; more than 800,000 people have been forced from their homes, either internally displaced within the country or driven into neighboring countries - all of them having to start new lives from nothing," the agency observed.

It pointed out that women in CAR have been particularly affected by the conflict -- last year an estimated 60,000 women experienced violence, meaning that one woman was raped or abused every 15 minutes.

“Despite peaceful presidential and legislative elections earlier this year, a large part of the territory remains under the control of armed groups which continue to perpetrate violence against civilians," said Ferran Puig, Oxfam's Country Director in CAR.

"Recently, a new wave of violence in the capital, Bangui, and in the north of the country has rapidly aggravated the security situation - 37 people were killed in October in an attack on a camp for displaced people in Kaga Bandoro, 300 Km from Bangui."

According to the official, over the last 5 years, four donor meetings held in Brussels have simply resulted in unmet pledges leaving the country to relapse into new crises.

"As well as a bigger humanitarian response, we need to see peace building and development work that can take a longer term approach for the rebuilding of the country. Donors need to provide the necessary funds immediately,” said Puig.

Regarding Thursday's donor meeting, Oxfam said it has the potential to be an important step in restoring peace and security, and reviving the economy, but that donors need to show both a long term commitment and provide flexible funding.

The organization has been working in CAR since 2014 with projects on food security, livelihoods, protection and gender, water, sanitation and hygiene in the capital, Bangui, and in Bria, Paoua and Batangafo, reaching more than 300,000 people.  

Between 2011 and 2016, four donor conferences were organized in support of CAR and none of them mobilised enough backing to meet the needs identified by humanitarian and development actors.
-0- PANA AR/MA 15Nov2016

15 november 2016 10:04:04

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