Insecurity hampering UN aid efforts in Central African Republic: AmosListen /
The political crisis in the Central African Republic has triggered a dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the country, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Valerie Amos says all of the Central African Republic's 4.6 million people are affected and tens of thousands need emergency shelter, healthcare and food aid.
In addition, she says the breakdown of law and order has led to widespread violations of human rights, including targeted killings, rapes, torture, arbitrary arrests and the recruitment of child soldiers.
Since December, more than 170,000 people have been internally displaced and nearly 50,000 have sought asylum in neighbouring countries.
According to Ms. Amos, insecurity is making it difficult to supply humanitarian aid to Central Africans in desperate need. Offices and warehouses of UN agencies and NGOs have been looted and most humanitarian operations are restricted to Bangui. Aid workers outside the capital are putting their safety at great risk to get help to people.
She called on the authorities to do everything possible to protect civilians, particularly women and children, and put an end to the looting of humanitarian facilities, vehicles and warehouses.
Meanwhile, additional funding is urgently needed to restock supplies and enable humanitarian agencies to respond to the increased needs. Medical supplies, food and nutrition aid, and the provision of critical water, sanitation and hygiene services are essential to save thousands of lives. The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service also needs urgent funding so that remote areas of the Central African Republic can be reached. The annual humanitarian appeal for the CAR was only 26 per cent funded as of 2 May.