Humanitarian Situation in Central African Republic: Authorities Lobby For Funding
The Minister of Social Affairs and National Reconciliation Virginie Baikoua explained the deteriorating situation to donors in Yaounde on March 15, 2017.
The government of the Central African Republic and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Central African office have designed a three-year Humanitarian Response Plan to tackle the resurgence of humanitarian problems with ever-increasing needs. The 2017 phase of the plan that will run up to 2019, is estimated to cost 399.5 million U.S. Dollars and so far, only 19 million U.S. Dollars representing five per cent of the funds have been collected.
The country’s Social Affairs and National Reconciliation Minister, Virginie Baikoua and the interim Humanitarian Coordinator for the Central African Republic, Doctor Michel Yao jointly presented the humanitarian situation to donors at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel on March 15, 2017. From the presentation, 2.2 million people remain in dire need of protection and humanitarian assistance, forming more than half of the country’s population. Thousands of children need humanitarian assistance such as access to food, health care and protection. As at moment, there are over 402,240 internally displaced people and 462,991 refugees in neighbouring countries. Over 400,000 children are in urgent need of assistance in the field of education, protection of civilians remains a major challenge with more than 9,000 cases of violence recorded in 2016. Humanitarian access is still another big challenge as since September 2013, 25 humanitarian workers have been killed in attacks, with five more killed in 2016.
Minister Virginie Baikoua used the occasion to talk of hope in the horizon as government has set out to close camps hosting displaced people starting with that of Mpoko in the capital Bangui. She also said security situation was improving with life gradually returning to normal in many neighbourhoods and that 75 per cent of schools had resumed in 2016. She said the Central African Republic should not be forgotten as far as humanitarian assistance is concerned.
Representatives of some donor countries and organisations during the ensuing sharing session insisted on the aspects of development, definition of roles to avoid duplication and showed their support to the government of the Central African Republic. They also stressed the need for synergy between government and humanitarian actors.