22/10/2012 - There are more than 65,000 internally displaced people in the Central African Republic (CAR) in urgent need of life-saving assistance, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The on-going conflicts in the country and the wider region and severe flooding have forced these people to flee their villages and homes. To provide them with immediate help, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has now mobilised new funding of €1.9 million enabling UNICEF to bring clean water, food, hygiene and sanitation to the most vulnerable people. With the EU aid, UNICEF will be pre-positioning emergency relief supplies in the capital Bangui and then coordinate with NGO partners in a Rapid Response Mechanism to carry out life-saving interventions.
“The main objective is to ensure that rapid onset emergencies are managed with the utmost skill and efficiency. The coordinated Rapid Response Mechanism is designed to maximise resources and effort, helping to avert catastrophes in regions where government and/or local capacity are lacking,” said ECHO CAR Representative Pascal Mounier.
The estimated number of people to be reached by the Rapid Response Mechanism is 42,500, including 2,500 children aged six to 59 months. These children, and the displaced, refugees, victims of natural disasters or epidemics, as well as other vulnerable groups are also suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
CAR is one of the least-developed countries in the world and suffers from political instability and natural disasters. One-third of the people in the country live in a state of humanitarian emergency. The country is surrounded by crisis in Chad, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2012, the European Commission has already mobilised € 8 million of humanitarian aid in CAR for life-saving interventions, including food aid to internally displaced people, clean water and sanitation, treatment of severe malnutrition, psychosocial and medical support to the victims of violence, as well as financial support to the humanitarian air service.