UN and NGO officials on mission to Central African Republic

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A young mother prepares to breastfeed her daughter after fleeing into the bush when armed groups attacked the village of Boutouli in February 2006. UNHCR/H. Caux

Senior officials from seven United Nations agencies and two non-governmental organizations are in the Central African Republic to take stock of the country's ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The Emergency Directors from agencies which include the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) began their three-day mission on Thursday.

OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke says approximately 1.6 million people in the Central African Republic are in urgent need of assistance, while nearly 400,000 have been forced from their homes.

"Persistent insecurity, the absence of the rule of law and attacks against humanitarian personnel and assets are in many cases preventing life-saving assistance from reaching people in need. However, UN humanitarian staff have been redeployed to at least five locations outside of the capital, and humanitarian teams are also on the ground and providing aid in Bossangoa in the north-east, where there has been a recent flare-up in fighting between various armed groups." (27″)

The delegation will next travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including to the eastern Kivu provinces which are hosting the majority of the country's nearly three million internally displaced people.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″


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