Security situation in Central African Republic deteriorates

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Internally Displaced Children in Bangui, Central African Republic. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Renewed fighting in the north and west of the Central African Republic and an increase in violence in the country's capital Bangui is putting humanitarian access in jeopardy, according to United Nations aid agencies.

The upsurge in unrest has also led to a number of unprecedented attacks against humanitarian workers. From the beginning of this year until last month there were 19 security incidents involving aid workers. Between just the 7th and the 19th of October there were seven attacks.

The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, is one of the agencies that is trying to get critical supplies to those most in need. UNICEF says that its staff won't be threatened by the worsening security situation.

More than 2.3 million children have been affected by the crisis since intense fighting reached Bangui last December when nearly a million people were forced to flee from their homes. 410,000 people are still displaced.

Christophe Boulierac is the spokesperson for UNICEF.

"Children of the Central African Republic are in desperate need of support and are in danger of being forgotten by the world. We need safe, unimpeded humanitarian access to get emergency aid to vulnerable children and their families and we call on all parties to the conflict to guarantee our access to people in need."

The World Food Programme says that getting desperately needed food to internally displaced people and those in rural areas is an increasing challenge. Half of these people have critically low levels of food consumption, leaving them at high risk of malnutrition. Food reserves in rural areas are estimated to be 40-50 percent lower than average. Livestock numbers have fallen by up to 77 percent compared to pre-crisis levels, due to looting and slaughtering, while fish supplies have fallen by about 40 percent.

Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 2’01″

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