Despite worsening security conditions and the recent looting of international aid offices in the Central African Republic (CAR), prompting the temporarily relocation of 200 personnel, the United Nations today pledged to keep bringing aid into the war-torn country, where over half the population urgently needs assistance.
“We must continue with the emergency response,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator in CAR Aurélien A. Agbénonci said. “Access to displaced populations is crucial. The needs of displaced persons are increasing every day and our main aim is to provide assistance to those in need, regardless of their political affiliation, race or ethnicity in compliance with the humanitarian principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality.”
The offices and residences of national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were looted during the sudden outbreak of violence that began on 26 September in Bangui, the capital, leaving 42 people dead and 414 injured and driving more than 37,000 people from their homes to seek refuge with host families and in 32 displacement sites in the city.
Some 200 humanitarian workers were temporarily relocated out of CAR and about 100 other non-essential staff were relocated to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The security situation has deteriorated, impeding the freedom of movement of humanitarian workers since the beginning of the crisis.
“Despite the security constraints, humanitarian actors continue to provide assistance to the affected population,” Mr. Agbénonci said. “We remain firmly committed to maintaining our presence in the country and to providing the necessary assistance to the population in areas where humanitarian access is possible.”
Following the recent violence there are over 417,000 displaced people in CAR and about 2.7 million people, over half the population, are in urgent need of assistance.
The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), set up in April 2014 to help bring peace after a breakdown of governmental authority and vicious intercommunal fighting between mainly the Muslim Séléka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement, currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the country, one of the world’s poorest.