UNHCR: Nearly One Million people displaced by crisis in the Central African Republic.

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Displaced people in the CAR capital Bangui find refuge in the unfinished church at St. Paul Parish after fleeing clashes.© UNHCR/B.Ntwari

Targeted attacks against civilians, looting and the presence of armed elements at some displacement sites in the Central African Republic are severely limiting the ability of humanitarian agencies to access those in need of urgent assistance, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

UNHCR says over 935,000 people have been displaced in the country.

In the capital, Bangui, over 512,000 have been displaced and are sheltering in over 67 sites or living with host families.

UNHCR says nearly 60 per cent of those displaced are children.

The agency says there are reports that people are hiding in the bush for fear of being attacked.

Babar Baloch is UNHCR spokesman in Geneva.

“Improved security is essential for humanitarian workers to reach the displaced and provide vital humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands who desperately need our assistance. More troops and effective operational coordination is needed for MISCA (the African Union peacekeeping force), which may reach 6,000 soldiers with the arrival of Congolese and Rwandan troops. In the last week, the number of IDPs arriving at the airport has almost doubled; there are now some 100,000 people there. Distribution of shelter material and other relief items has become more challenging and it is difficult to put a distribution system in place. Humanitarian agencies are working on a rapid 30-day inter-agency response for people displaced at this site. Since last Sunday, UNHCR has been organizing airlifts of relief items, vehicles and office equipment from its regional warehouses in Nairobi, Accra, Dubai and Douala. Airlifted items include tents, blankets, plastic sheets and other supplies.” 

The United Nations has appealed for $152 million to provide immediate and lifesaving assistance to the displaced in the Central African Republic for the next 100 days.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

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