Humanitarian coordinator welcomes improvement in the humanitarian situation in Paoua
Bangui, 26 June 2018 – The Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Najat Rochdi, welcomes the gradual improvement of the humanitarian situation in Paoua, a northern city that had hosted more than 65,000 displaced persons in December 2017. Fighting between armed groups led to the displacement of almost all residents of the villages located in the northern and eastern areas of the town. The population of Paoua estimated at 40,000 inhabitants more than doubled over a few weeks.
Thanks to a marked improvement in the security situation, the majority of the displaced persons have now returned to their villages and resumed their activities. “I welcome these returns. This is what the displaced persons wished for since the very first days of the crisis”, said Najat Rochdi. Indeed, the Ouham Pendé region and especially the villages around Paoua have long been considered as the breadbasket of the Central African Republic. The displaced persons were mostly farmers who wanted to return quickly to their localities to tend to their farms and prepare for the next farming season. Violence erupted a few weeks before the harvest season.
The humanitarian community continues to support the 9,330 displaced persons who are still in Paoua and the host community, through the provision of food rations and coupons. Some host families have received displaced persons in their homes and are sharing their already scarce resources with them since December 2017. Humanitarian assistance is also being provided to families that have decided to return to their homes in order to facilitate their reintegration and to help them restore their livelihoods.
Najat Rochdi commends the mobilization of local authorities and actors working in the area for the rapid and continuous response that humanitarian actors have provided to this crisis, one of the main humanitarian hotspots since the beginning of 2018. The Humanitarian Coordinator once more calls on “armed groups to comply with their commitments under international law and to be aware of the impact of violence on the lives of people who have been battered and weakened by years of conflict”.
Najat Rochdi takes this opportunity to thank the donors whose contributions have enabled the humanitarian community to respond to the massive influx of displaced people during the early hours of the crisis, to support host families and provide food, drinking water and free health care for the most vulnerable people. She encourages them “to maintain their commitment to the Central African Republic, one of the countries in the world where nearly half of the population still depends on humanitarian assistance”.