UN appeals for $152 million to scale up assistance in Central African Republic

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Displaced civilians find shelter in a church in Bangui.© UNHCR/L.Wiseberg

The security situation in the Central African Republic remains tense and has trigged a new wave of displacement in the capital, Bangui, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The number of displaced people in Bangui now stands at over 370,000, up from 214,000 two weeks ago.

OCHA says nearly 800,000 people have been displaced countrywide and some 2.2 million people need assistance.

At the international airport in Bangui, where agencies estimate that between 70,000 and 100,000 people have sought refuge, humanitarian partners are trying to reach people with emergency assistance including medical care and malnutrition screening for children.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is working with its partners to establish mobile child protection activities.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed 555 tons of food to more than 133,000 people in Bangui this month.

The agency has also reached over 41,500 people in Bossangoa and 21,500 people in Bouar.

Elisabeth Byrs is WFP spokesperson in Geneva.

"We are scaling up our operations to assist 1.2 million people in the next eight months as we can see that growing numbers of people are going hungry. We also urge all parties to the conflict to ensure the safe access by humanitarian personnel. WFP is neutral and is delivering assistance on the basis of need. Since the 5th of December WFP has assisted over 237,000 people. We need to scale up even more. Thirty per cent of households in CAR are food insecure and 30 per cent of households is 1.3 million people who would need food assistance."

The United Nations is appealing for $152 million to scale up lifesaving humanitarian response in the Central African Republic during the first three months of 2014.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 2:16″

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