Humanitarian chief highlights need for "swift action" in Central African Republic

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Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos briefing the Security Council (from file) [UN Photo/Rick Bajornas]

The Central African Republic could become a failed state unless action is taken quickly, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Valerie Amos warned the Security Council on Wednesday.

Ms. Amos recently visited the country, where she said the "fragile" new government of national unity is facing considerable challenges such as weapons proliferation, looting and a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

"The Central African Republic is not yet a failed state but has the potential to become one if swift action is not taken. Despite the significant challenges there is an opportunity for the international community working with the authorities to make a significant contribution to the political, economic and social development of Central African Republic. The failure to act now could not only prolong and exacerbate the appalling conditions the people of the Central African Republic have had to endure, but could also see the crisis spread beyond its borders and throughout a region already facing enormous challenges."

Ms. Amos asked Council members to urgently address the African Union's request to support its newly established peacekeeping mission in the country.

She also highlighted the need for funding for emergency relief efforts, and for countries to use their influence to facilitate dialogue towards political reconciliation.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'24"

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