Review of humanitarian action in the Central African Republic in 2017
The humanitarian community responded to the needs of most vulnerable people despite logistical and financial constraints
Bangui, 2 February 2018 – A series of crises in 2017 led to an unprecedented increase in humanitarian needs since 2014. This increase resulted from the resurgence of violence and the multiplication of hotspots across the country. The number of displaced persons rose from 402,240 in January 2017 to 688,700 on 31 December 2017, a higher figure than at the height of the crisis in August 2014. Despite a difficult context, the humanitarian community has proven that it can do a lot with limited resources compared to the scale of needs. More than 1.3 million people have received vital assistance in various sectors.
During a press conference on 02 February, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the Central African Republic, Najat Rochdi, reviewed the major achievements of humanitarian response in 2017. "Those would never have been possible without the support of the international community". The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was only 39 per cent funded.
Food assistance is often the most urgent need amidst a humanitarian crisis. From the very first hours of the 2017 emergencies, the humanitarian community rallied to transport emergency food aid to crisis areas as quickly as possible. More than 630,000 people have benefited from food assistance.
Lack of water or unsafe water are aggravating factors during crises and contribute to the spread of diseases. Over 1,300,000 people have benefited from an emergency supply of drinking water thanks to wells, sources and boreholes which were dug or rehabilitated by the humanitarian community.
In 2017, humanitarian partners supported more than 26,000 children, aged 6 to 59 months, with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) with therapeutic nutrition programs. Children and women are particularly vulnerable groups in conflict situations.
In order to avoid displaced children to drop out of school, 56,673 children have been accompanied in temporary learning and child protection spaces in IDPs sites and in host communities. Nearly 3,000 children have been separated from the armed groups and 2,189 have been reintegrated.
More than 55,000 households have benefited from emergency shelter, which represents nearly 126% of the estimated annual target. Simultaneously, non-food items have been distributed to nearly 51,000 households.
Economic inclusion remains an effective way to break the cycle of violence and prevent youth from resorting to it. More than 44,000 youth (girls and boys) have benefited from labour-intensive schemes. Individually or collectively, nearly 56,600 people have received support to preserve or resume their income-generating activities.
Assistance provided in hotspots would not have been possible without a strong logistical support. In a country where only 3% of the roads are asphalted, 8,800 tons of various humanitarian goods have been transported or airlifted to crisis areas.
In 2018, the humanitarian community is planning to meet the needs of 1.9 million people with a budget of US $ 515.6 million. Its main priorities will remain the protection of civilians, the improvement of conditions for the provision of a principled and effective humanitarian response and the mobilization of resources. "I call on the international community, as well as all good willing people, to renew their commitment to CAR so that we can continue to save lives. There are certainly some shortcomings but the achievements I have mentioned show that together we can do great things, "concluded Najat Rochdi.
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