UN / CENTRAL AFRICAN REGION

13-Dec-2018 00:02:35
A top UN official said humanitarian crises in Central Africa “have not only persisted, but several have grown further” adding that “one in seven people” in the region urgently need assistance and protection compared to one in 70 people globally. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / CENTRAL AFRICAN REGION
TRT: 2:35
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 DECEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

13 DECEMBER 2018, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“One person out of seven in Central Africa is caught up in crisis and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. This is compared to a global calculation of one person in every 70 people. About half of those requiring humanitarian assistance and protection in Central Africa are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the DRC. The humanitarian situation in the country has deteriorated further in 2018 and is one of the world’s largest and most complex crises.”
4. Med shot, Fall at Security Council meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“This is now one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa. The majority of the displaced are hiding in dense forests, without adequate shelter and lacking food, water and basic services. Schools and markets are also disrupted, and there are alarming health needs.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy Division, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):
“Over the past six months, the humanitarian crises in Central Africa have not only persisted, but several have grown further. Many of the crises are rooted in ongoing, armed conflicts. Strengthening the protection of civilians, a core issue on the Security Council’s agenda, is of utmost importance in this region.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (French) François Louncény Fall, Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA):
“As part of my regional mandate, I continue to urge countries of the sub-region to ensure that their efforts converge to support the African initiative for peace and reconciliation in CAR, and to remain committed in a concerted and constructive manner during the critical stage of implementation of a possible agreement.”
10. Med shot, Ghelani at Security Council meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (French) François Louncény Fall, Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA):
“Violent extremism and terrorism remain a major threat to sub-regional security and development. Even though much progress has been made in the Boko Haram struggle, this terrorist group continues its indiscriminate attacks on the defence and security forces and civilians. In response, sub-regional countries continue to intensify their efforts to fight the group through better cooperation. It is important that the States of Central and West Africa develop strategies that address the root causes of insurgency.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
A top UN official said humanitarian crises in Central Africa “have not only persisted, but several have grown further” adding that “one in seven people” in the region urgently need assistance and protection compared to one in 70 people globally.

Addressing the Security Council today (13 Dec), Reena Ghelani, Director for Operations and Advocacy at the UN humanitarian office (OCHA), said violence, extreme poverty, climate change and population growth are driving record levels of vulnerability among millions of people in the Central African region. She said about half of those requiring humanitarian assistance and protection in Central Africa are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), adding that the humanitarian situation there is “one of the world’s largest and most complex crises.”

Ghelani said attention given to the Ebola outbreak should not overshadow simultaneous crises facing the DRC, including the largest cholera outbreak in 15 years, and increased insecurity in the east.

The OCHA official said escalating violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) has taken a heavy toll on people, with over half the population in need of humanitarian assistance. She added that the number of internally displaced people has reached 643,000, an increase by over 60 percent this year alone resulting in one in four children in the country being displaced.

Ghelani said Cameroon’s internally displaced had tripled in the past six months making it “one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa.” She added, “The majority of the displaced are hiding in dense forests, without adequate shelter and lacking food, water and basic services; schools and markets are also disrupted, and there are alarming health needs.”

Ghelani noted that every single humanitarian response plan in Central Africa was funded at less than the global average of 56 percent, with Cameroon being the least funded. She stressed that this needed to change for the humanitarian response in the region to be fully effective. She added, “Over the past six months, the humanitarian crises in Central Africa have not only persisted, but several have grown further. Many of the crises are rooted in ongoing, armed conflicts. Strengthening the protection of civilians, a core issue on the Security Council’s agenda, is of utmost importance in this region.”

François Louncény Fall, Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), told the Security Council that he remained concerned about the situation in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, as violence had not diminished and allegations of human rights violations by all sides continued to be reported. He appealed to the Government to continue to safeguard access by humanitarian partners to the populations in need and to ensure that all human rights violations are addressed. He also reaffirmed the UN’s readiness to support the Government to seek a lasting solution to the crisis and assist in the fight against Boko Haram.

Lounceny Fall also highlighted the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), where there had been a recent escalation of violence.

SOUNDBITE (French) François Louncény Fall, Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA):
“As part of my regional mandate, I continue to urge countries of the sub-region to ensure that their efforts converge to support the African initiative for peace and reconciliation in CAR, and to remain committed in a concerted and constructive manner during the critical stage of implementation of a possible agreement.”

The Head of UNOCA stressed that violent extremism and terrorism “remain a major threat to sub-regional security and development.” He said even though much progress has been made against Boko Haram, “this terrorist group continues its indiscriminate attacks on the defence and security forces and civilians.” He added that sub-regional countries continued to intensify their efforts to fight the group through better cooperation and stressed the importance of Central and Western African countries developing strategies “that address the root causes of insurgency.”
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