USG/ERC Valerie Amos on the worsening humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic
(New York/Geneva, 6 December 2013) I am extremely concerned by the further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic. Over the last 24 hours we have seen reports that around one hundred people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured in fighting and attacks in Bangui and Bossangoa.
It is still too early to give a comprehensive assessment of the humanitarian impact, but the United Nations agencies present in the country have reported that men, women and children have fled the violence. I am gravely concerned that this rapid deterioration of the situation could lead to further displacement.
I urge all those involved in the violence to protect civilians and ensure their safety, and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. They must allow free and unfettered access for neutral and impartial organizations to safely deliver humanitarian aid.
Before today, half the population of Central African Republic - 2.3 million people - needed some kind of humanitarian assistance. Some 415,000 people were already displaced from their homes and 1.3 million people needed emergency food assistance. The crisis has led to more than 68,000 people fleeing to other countries in the region since December 2012.
Despite the insecurity, the United Nations and our humanitarian partners are scaling up their activities, providing displaced families with shelter, safe water, sanitation, food and emergency health services in areas across the country. We are also strengthening vital civil-military coordination efforts and supporting community reconciliation initiatives. We remain committed to doing everything we can to help the people of the Central African Republic who are in such dire humanitarian need.
For further information, please call:
Amanda Pitt, OCHA New York, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +1 212 963 4129, Cell: +1 917 442 1810
Jens Laerke, OCHA Geneva, email@example.com , Tel.: +41 22 917 11 42, Cell: +41 79 472 9750
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.