New York- US (PANA) -- The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is appealing for US$1.
5 million to provide life-saving support to children in the Central African Republic (CAR).
UNICEF said in a statement issued on Tuesday in New York that CAR was one of the most impoverished nations in the world and remained beset by violence and widespread displacement in the north.
It said an estimated one million people, out of a population of four million, were in need of humanitarian assistance.
â?In both the conflict-affected north and the more stable south, almost 700,000 children under-five are living below acceptable standards.
Many are moving toward the outer edge of survival,â? Jeremy Hopkins, acting representative of UNICEF in CAR, said.
He stated that poverty, ongoing insecurity, and loss of income in areas where the diamond mining sector has been impacted by the global economic slowdown are among the causes cited for this situation.
He also said the prevalence of HIV in the country, which at 6.
3 per cent, was the highest in the region and was also affecting the nutritional situation of families.
Hopkins disclosed that in addition to providing essential food, drugs and supplies, funds from the US$1.
5 million appeal will also be used to conduct a national nutritional survey, as well as train community health workers in the early detection of children and women whose nutritional health may be at risk.
â?These childrenâ?s lives, their ability to learn, to earn, and to lead productive lives is being stunted by this tragic crisis,â? the UNICEF official said.
â?These children could be leading normal lives.
We must try harder to fulfil their rightsâ? he added.
On Monday, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Catherine Bragg called for urgent action by the international community to assist those in need in CAR.
She had stated: â?It is not like any other humanitarian situation I have run across.