Civilians in Central African Republic a forgotten lot, says UNICEF's AmbassadorListen /
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow today pleaded for urgent action to stem violence in the Central African Republic that is taking a heavy toll on the civilian population, especially women and children.
Speaking in Geneva after a week-long visit to the country, Ms Farrow described the Central African Republic as a place with the most abandoned people on earth.
She said lawlessness was the order of the day in the capital Bangui, while the countryside is littered with countless abandoned and burned villages.
Echoing the words of UN humanitarian officials, Ms Farrow warned that rebels were committing atrocities that were likely to result in genocide.
In Bassangoa she visited a church compound housing over 35,000 displaced people living in appalling conditions.
"It's not a forgotten crisis. It's a completely abandoned population. And it's very difficult to call people's attention to a crisis in this setting of the horrific situation in the Philippines right now, and we are all agonising over Syria. But the kids in central African republic are of equal value and I think we are capable of thinking of them too. It's a lawless place. I shudder to think where this is going. It seems that there are no grown-ups at the table and apart from the aid workers who have made the decision to risk everything to try to sustain the most vulnerable people on earth, but I hope the UN will step up with a really good peacekeeping situation but also diplomacy."
The United Nations estimates that nearly half of Central African Republic's 4 million population is in need of humanitarian aid.
Close to 400,000 people are internally displaced in the country.
Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio, Geneva.