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Updated On: Saturday, May 27 2017

Half of Central African Republic’s people need aid; UN Security Council to meet on peace operations

16 March 2017 – The Security Council is today discussing the peace efforts in the Central African Republic (CAR), where half of the population urgently needs aid despite a huge funding gap, according to the United Nations humanitarian arm.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said that the upsurge in violence in the country since last September has led to every one in five Central Africans to be either displaced or a refugee in a neighbouring country. In addition, roughly 2.2 million people are in dire need of aid.

“Let us not leave Central African Republic to become a forgotten or neglected crisis by the international community”, said the Acting Humanitarian Coordinator for CAR, Michel Yao, alongside the Minister of Humanitarian, Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, Virginie Baikoua, at a briefing session for donors yesterday in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The UN and its humanitarian partners had appealed for $399.5 million to aid CAR as part of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan. To date, only five per cent of that amount – roughly $19 million – has been raised.

Mr. Yao warned that without adequate funding, the country risks plunging into an acute humanitarian crisis.

The situation is particularly concerning because aid workers deliver much of the basic social services. For example, more than half of the health infrastructure is managed by the humanitarian community.

“The decrease of the humanitarian activities is deplorable, in the health and education sectors among others,” OCHA said.

Later today, the UN Security Council will hear from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and CAR President Faustin Archange Touadera on the situation in the country.

The Council will also hear from Omar Hilale, the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, who will brief in his capacity as the Chair of the CAR Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission.

The Peacebuilding Commission works between the Security Council, the General Assembly, whose membership includes all 193 Member States, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which works with the 14 specialized UN agencies, to address root causes of conflict in a country and try to stabilize it before conflict breaks out or help it restabilize after fighting.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.

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