UN: UN relief chief urges greater efforts to protect civilians in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien has called for greater and more sustained international commitment to the Central African Republic (CAR), where a worsening humanitarian crisis is impacting half the country's population.

A UN statement issued on Friday in New York quoted Mr. O'Brien as saying: "We must persevere in our support for the Central African Republic.

"The situation here needs to have the world's attention, and not only are people suffering, but violence continues to be waged, preventing good governance, the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance, and a chance for Central Africans to begin building a better future."

Mr. O'Brien was in CAR to see the consequences of the conflict in the country, which broke out in September, aggravating an already dire humanitarian situation.

More than half of the country's population is currently in need of humanitarian assistance, and the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is 400,000, while some 454,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

During his visit, the UN official saw the Saint Sauveur IDP site and PK5 neighbourhood in Bangui, as well as the Dekoa area, where more than 10,000 people were recently displaced.

Meanwhile, Mr. O'Brien on Friday released US$12 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support life-saving assistance for people affected by the conflict in CAR.

He said: "CERF continues to provide a life-line for humanitarian operations in CAR, but additional funds are urgently needed to meet the scale of the challenge, and I urge donors to continue supporting vital relief efforts in CAR.”

Mr. O'Brien's visit followed the most recent eruption of violence, which was sparked
in the capital, Bangui, on 26 September.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), violent clashes erupted between the residents of PK5 in Bangui's 3rd district and the 5th district after the death of a young Muslim taxi motorcyclist.

The violence left dozens of people dead and several injured. Houses were looted in other neighbourhoods and many burned, while thousands of people have fled the areas with heightened tension to seek refuge mostly with host families and in displacement sites.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 23Oct2015

23 october 2015 19:17:21

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