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GENEVA, Switzerland, July 12, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos and European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, today expressed deep concern about the plight of the people affected by instability across the Central African Republic (CAR) and called for increased humanitarian access to people in need of urgent aid.

“The entire population of 4.6 million people is affected by the crisis. Half of those are children. The humanitarian needs are huge and increasing with 1.6 million people in need of assistance,” said Valerie Amos in Bangui. “Security is a major concern and the UN is working hard to reestablish its presence and programmes in different part of the country." Ms. Amos expressed particular concern at the impact of the crisis on women and children.

Ms. Amos and Ms. Georgieva are on a two-day mission in the CAR to see first-hand the humanitarian situation for the affected people who are in dire need of food, protection, health care, water and sanitation, shelter and other assistance.

“The authorities in the CAR must urgently re-establish the rule of law so that regular aid streams can be restored,” said Commissioner Georgieva. "An estimated 35 per cent of the population is particularly vulnerable and in need of life-saving assistance. I am announcing today additional funding of €8 million, which brings EU funding to €20 million this year. But clearly the international community needs to do more, and I appeal to everyone to help end the suffering of the people of the Central African Republic."

Ms. Amos and Ms. Georgieva met with the Head of the transition Michel Nondokro Djotodia and members of the transitional government and urged authorities to guarantee that humanitarian organisations can carry out their programmes.

The humanitarian chiefs also visited a paediatric centre in Bangui which has treated 1,600 malnourished children this year alone. The centre is supported by the EU's humanitarian office ECHO, UNICEF and Action Contre La Faim (ACF).

“Once again children are the face of a crisis. In CAR, thousands are acutely malnourished, displaced and out of school as a result of the conflict,” said Ms. Amos.

In the first half of 2013, the humanitarian community in CAR has targeted 484,000 people for food assistance and reached 45 per cent of them. About 8,000 people suffering severe acute malnutrition have received treatment and 123,000 children out of 680,000 targeted have been vaccinated against measles.