UN: UN says half of CAR population urgently needs humanitarian support

New York, US (PANA) - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday said that half of the population in Central African Republic (CAR) urgently needs aid despite a huge funding gap.

OCHA in a statement obtained by PANA in New York said the upsurge in violence in the country since last September has led to every one in five Central Africans to be either displaced or a refugee in a neighbouring country.

In addition, it said that roughly 2.2 million people are in dire need of aid.

The Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR, Michel Yao, stated: "Let us not leave Central African Republic to become a forgotten or neglected crisis by the international community."

He said the UN and its humanitarian partners had appealed for US$399.5 million to aid CAR as part of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, but he said that, "to date, only five per cent of that amount, which is roughly US$19 million has been raised."

Mr. Yao warned that without adequate funding, the country risks plunging into an acute humanitarian crisis, saying that, "the situation is particularly concerning because aid workers deliver much of the basic social services."

"For example, more than half of the health infrastructure is managed by the humanitarian community, and also the decrease of the humanitarian activities is deplorable, in the health and education sectors among others," he added.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is holding a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss peace efforts in CAR and will be briefed by UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Herve Ladsous and CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera on the situation in the country.

Mr. Omar Hilale, the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, who is also the Chair of the CAR Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, will address the Security Council.

The UN Peacebuilding Commission works between the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which works with the 14 specialized UN agencies, to address root causes of conflict in a country and try to stabilize it before conflict breaks out or help it restabilize after fighting.
-0-  PANA  AA  16March2017

16 march 2017 21:04:25

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