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Central African Republic: EU airlifts emergency aid

Central African Republic: EU airlifts emergency aid
17/03/2014  - 

The European Commission is transporting for the third time urgently needed humanitarian assistance into the conflict-stricken Central African Republic (CAR). The humanitarian situation in the country remains dramatic.

"The humanitarian needs are enormous with the entire population affected by the ongoing crisis. Over 232 000 people are uprooted from their homes in Bangui alone and over 650 000 people are displaced throughout the country. Their lives depend on our assistance and we must deliver it now," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

A transport aircraft took off last night from Belgium for the CAR capital Bangui, carrying around 100 tonnes of relief supplies including medicines, therapeutic feeding, water, sanitation items, telecommunication equipment and two vehicles to support aid operations.

In December 2013, when the humanitarian crisis in CAR took a big turn for the worse, the European Commission organised a daily air bridge for relief workers and relief goods between Cameroon and Bangui, using planes from the EU's humanitarian air service, ECHO Flight. The Commission also organised cargo flights with relief goods (notably medicines and emergency shelter materials) to CAR, from Europe and from Kenya.

The European Commission has been supporting life-saving activities in CAR with €45 million since the escalation of violence started in December 2013.