Yaounde, 14 May 2018 – The humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic has deteriorated since 2017. This trend persisted during the first quarter of 2018, with massive waves of new displacements and increasing humanitarian needs.
Today, the humanitarian community is not only responding to the critical and urgent needs emerging from new hotspots, but also to needs as a result of the ongoing crisis. However, the current funding level is too low to enable the effective provision of humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, it does not cover emergency preparedness considering the upsurge of violence countrywide. The Humanitarian Response Plan requesting $515.6 million was launched in January 2018 is only 9.4% funded meanwhile it aims to provide life-saving assistance to 1.9 million people.
A significant drop in funding is occurring when the situation is deteriorating and humanitarian needs are increasing further. In order to sensitize donors to the Central African Republic about this worrying trend, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Central African Republic, Najat Rochdi, held a briefing on the situation in the country on 14 May in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Najat Rochdi took the opportunity to thank donors for their support and presence in the lives of the Central African people. In 2017, contributions to humanitarian action amounted to $ 267 million, of which $ 202.5 million went directly to the Humanitarian Response Plan. On the other hand, the contributions to the Humanitarian Fund made it possible in 2017 to allocate $ 22.1 million for the implementation of emergency response projects that benefited nearly one million people. “We would not have been unable to save so many lives without your help, but today we need to go beyond that,” she said. “But if, on the contrary, nothing is done today, the country risks falling once more into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Violence by armed groups will continue to force an increasing number of civilians to seek refuge in more remote places, which are inaccessible to aid workers, further increasing the challenge of access to the most vulnerable people”, Najat Rochdi added.
During the first quarter of 2018, the number of displaced persons remained stable but still very high. In March 2018, there were 687,398 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), over the number registered at the peak of the humanitarian crisis in August 2014. Today the number of refugees is equally alarming, at 568,572 refugees as of March 2018. This implies that over 1.2 million Central Africans or one in four is still internally displaced or is a refugee in neighboring countries. Compared to the total population, the Central African Republic has one of the highest humanitarian caseload per capita in the world.
Alongside the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Minister for Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation, Virginie Baïkoua, Representatives in the Central African Republic of WHO Severin Von Xylander, UNHCR, Pierre Atchom, and Head of OCHA in CAR, Joseph Inganji, shared detailed information on their respective sectors with the donors and the international community.
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