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Statement: Refugees International Calls for International Engagement to Overcome Blockade in the Central African Republic

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Please see below statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for West and Central Africa Alexandra Lamarche:

"Refugees International is deeply concerned over the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and, in particular, the impact of the armed blockade of National Route 1 -- the country's primary trade route with Cameroon. Insurgent groups have cut off the flow of essential goods. As a result, CAR now faces massive shortages of food and humanitarian supplies.

The crisis surrounding the December presidential elections is driving an upsurge in violence across the Central African Republic. The fighting has forced more than 150,000 people from their homes and is worsening an already dire humanitarian crisis.

Refugees International recommends that UN Agencies and humanitarian organizations immediately re-route incoming humanitarian supplies to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and/or the Republic of the Congo, to be transported to the Central African Republic by boat using the Ubangui river.

Refugees International also calls for international donors to act quickly and establish a humanitarian air bridge to bring crucial supplies into the Central African Republic using non-military cargo planes.

Without swift international support, the broken supply chain could prove fatal for the country's 1.9 million people who are already facing food insecurity."

For more information or to arrange an interview with Alexandra, please contact Refugees International Director of Communications Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org or +1 202 540 7029.