Looming deaths in the CAR as aid funding dries out

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A man and his child walk through a crowded site for internally displaced people in Bangui. © UNHCR/S.Phelps

The United Nations is warning that the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic is deteriorating fast and many displaced civilians could die as aid agencies are running out of funds to support the growing humanitarian needs.

The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos says humanitarian access and living conditions in the camps for displaced people already made difficult by insecurity could further deteriorate with the onset of the rainy season.

She said the UN appeal for $551 million to provide humanitarian assistance in the CAR is only 16 per cent funded.

Over 650,000 people have been internally displaced in the CAR, 250,000 of whom are housed in several displacement camps around the capital Bangui.

Ms Amos said the presence of 8,000 French and African Union peacekeepers remains insufficient to provide protection to civilians and to restore security conditions that would allow full humanitarian access to vulnerable populations.

"The situation in the central African republic is extremely grave and urgent action is required by everyone if we are going to prevent further bloodshed. The violence has led to a total breakdown of the state. They can't deliver basic services and they have no capacity to stop the violence. There was palpable fear in the eyes of people that we met in Bangui and also in Bassangoa and lots of people saying they wanted to leave the country. And I have no doubt that if we don't get these resources and do more then people will die. The reason being there is no safety net of any kind, the local institutions are not there to support the basic needs of the people."

The United Nations estimates that 2.5 million people in the Central African republic are in need to humanitarian assistance.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1:56″

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