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UNICEF Central African Republic Flash Update, 1 February 2021

Publication date

Context and humanitarian situation

On 18 January, the Constitutional Court confirmed the reelection of President Faustin Archange Touadera in the first round of the 27 December election. The last two weeks of January have been marked by a decrease in armed violence, as the Coalition des Patriotes pour le Changement (CPC) seems to have mostly stopped its offensive towards Bangui but the situation remains tense and unpredictable. Fighting between CPC and governmental forces and their allies has been reported along the main two roads leading West from Bangui. A national curfew is still in force from 6pm to 5am, and on 24 January the CAR government proclaimed a state of emergency for an initial period of two weeks. Partners of UNICEF-led Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) have also issued four new conflict-related alerts across the country, resulting in the flight of about 8,000 people.

The main cities and towns affected by the influx of internally displaced people (IDPs) include Bouar, Bangassou, Dekoa, Bouca, Ndomete, Grimari and the surroundings of Bangui. IDPs are found mostly in locations considered safer within the affected towns, such as churches, peacekeeping bases, schools or in the surrounding bush. An unknown number has also found refuge with host families. The most urgent needs continue to be food, water, protection, essential household and shelter items, as well as improved access to health and adequate sanitation. Children and women are particularly at risk in this context, which aggravates the consequences of the pre-existing crisis, as UNICEF alerted in a press release.

As the security situation remains volatile, humanitarian access continues to be an issue for a number of areas affected by the crisis, particularly along MSR1, the main road to Cameroon, where fighting continues and armed elements hinder the safe and timely delivery of critical humanitarian and commercial supplies in CAR. On 18 January, a 30-truck convoy which included five trucks carrying vital humanitarian among which a UNICEF container with medical supplies, was attacked causing serious injuries to three drivers. The convoy returned to Cameroon. Staple food prices have increased by up to 50 percent according to some estimates. Shortages of fuel are also reported in several towns in the country.