Bangui, 22 February 2018 – Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ursula Mueller, concluded on 22 February a four-day visit to the Central African Republic with an urgent call to the international community to further support humanitarian response in the country.
“CAR is facing a large-scale humanitarian crisis. Violence is fast spreading across the country while urgent and critical needs are increasing and should be covered. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of violence and insecurity in the country. Protection will remain central to our action in 2018” said Ms. Mueller.
“This worrying situation is developing at a time when funding of humanitarian response for CAR has declined over the past three years. We need to act now to prevent a further deterioration which would require much more resources to address and could seriously impact the stability and the security of the whole Central African region” said Ms. Mueller. The number of internally displaced persons has nearly doubled over the last year reaching 694,000. Humanitarian organizations face a shortage of resources and are struggling to meet the growing needs.
The Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator witnessed the human face of the dire humanitarian situation while visiting Paoua town (Northern CAR) where the sudden influx of over 65,000 displaced persons due to on-going violence generated overwhelming needs which added pressure on an already vulnerable community. “Paoua is a proof of the unpredictability and fragility of the situation in CAR. Aid organizations should be given greater means to provide principled and effective humanitarian assistance when needs arise and should be able to deliver assistance and protection services rapidly and effectively” said Ms. Mueller. “To do so they must be able to reach affected-people wherever they are and no matter under whose control the area is” she further emphasized.
The humanitarian community has been able to meet the needs of 1.3 million people in 2017 despite security and financial constraints. The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan was funded 39 per cent only. “We must go beyond that level of funding in 2018 in order to effectively contribute to pave the way for a sustainable return of peace and for the sake of durable well-being of the affected communities” urged Ursula Mueller.
The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator stressed the importance of strengthening protection of civilians as well as security during her meetings with national authorities and key stakeholders such as MINUSCA and development partners. Stepped-up measures are essential to deliver aid to the most vulnerable people, in line with humanitarian principles.
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