Central African Republic: UN humanitarian fund allocates $7 million for lifesaving aid

4 June 2013

An allocation of over $7.1 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will provide more than a million people in the Central African Republic – half of them children – with lifesaving assistance, the UN humanitarian relief arm announced today.

“This allocation will enable us to provide life-saving assistance targeted at people in desperate need of help,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, Kaarina Immonen.

The 1.1 million people to be helped include 595,000 children below five years of age.

“We will provide food and medical assistance, access to potable water and sanitation, psychosocial support to victims of gender-based violence, waste management support and reproductive health care,” she added in a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The office stressed that further funding is required as the Humanitarian Appeal for CAR is under-funded at 31 per cent of the requested $139 million.

The dire humanitarian situation in the CAR has been exacerbated by fighting in the past six months which further deteriorated even the most basic services. Violence erupted in December 2012 when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks.

A peace agreement was reached in January, but the rebels again seized the capital, Bangui, in March, forcing President François Bozizé to flee.

An estimated 206,000 people are internally displaced in the country, while another 49,000 have fled mainly to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Chad. CAR is also housing some 17,000 refugees from the neighbouring countries.

“Access to people in need is difficult due to a challenging security situation, but emergency relief activities are taking place where and when possible,” OCHA said in the news release.

With such diverse needs, the CERF funding will be allocated to priority sectors where the UN is providing assistance in the CAR. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) will receive $279,792 to strengthen emergency obstetrical and neonatal care and to provide assistance to victims of sexual violence.

Some $875,000 has been allocated to the UN World Health Organization (WHO) for provision of emergency health care including surgical treatment to people affected by the crisis.

To provide food security assistance to vulnerable populations, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) receives $806,215, while the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been allocated $680,510. In addition, WFP will re-establish emergency telecommunication services for the humanitarian community with an additional allocation of $735,983, and a further $1 million to ensure continuation of the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is allocated $375,000 to provide protection monitoring and assistance to IDPs, and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) receives $1,599,929 to provide health and nutrition assistance and other projects, including a joint initiative with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on hygiene and waste management services.

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