Senior Communications Officer
March 29, 2013 – Los Angeles, Calif. – Violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues following a rebel-led seizure of the capital city, Bangui. Having operated in CAR since 2007, International Medical Corps, in coordination with the United Nations (UN) and other non-governmental organizations, is conducting a multi-sectoral assessment to determine the extent of humanitarian needs.
The overall situation in Bangui has improved with increased water supply and some supply of electricity throughout the city. However, it was reported that looting is still occurring throughout the city including at health facilities.
International Medical Corps has initiated a humanitarian assessment of eleven health facilities in Bangui - some facilities reported that personnel have fled their posts due to the conflict. The organization assessed one health facility today and found the water, sanitation and hygiene conditions to be very poor. International Medical Corps secured 9 basic health kits, 22 malaria kits and 1 caesarian kit from WHO. Each basic health kit can serve 1,000 people for 3 months. The kits will be distributed to health facilities that are lacking basic essential drugs in areas where internally displaced people were reported. International Medical Corps will distribute several kits tomorrow to a health center in one of Bangui’s suburbs that was completely looted.
Poor road infrastructure in and around Bangui and rebel blockades have further impeded the delivery of essential supplies to already difficult-to-reach areas outside the capital. International Medical Corps is greatly concerned that the risk of food insecurity will increase as the country is further destabilized and supplies run low. International Medical Corps teams are continuing basic health and nutrition service delivery in Bambari, Triningulu, Sekekede, Bria and Birao. The organization is coordinating with the UN to secure transportation of supplies so that the provision of basic services can continue in these areas.
International Medical Corps’ global security team is monitoring the situation closely and ensuring the utmost safety of staff. With significant humanitarian needs already in the country and the likelihood of civilians experiencing greater hardship as a result of the fighting, International Medical Corps hopes for a swift cessation of violence so that critically needed relief to vulnerable populations can be implemented.
International Medical Corps began working in CAR primarily in the insecure northern and eastern provinces. Today, the organization’s services include maternal and child health care, child protection, nutrition services, HIV/AIDS prevention, health education, gender-based violence prevention and response, and hygiene promotion activities.
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.