UN AND EU HUMANITARIAN CHIEFS VISIT COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
GENEVA, Switzerland, July 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Nations humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, and European Commissioner for aid and crisis response, Kristalina Georgieva, on their second day in Central African Republic met people affected by the crisis in Kaga Bandoro, some 400km from the capital Bangui.
At the provincial hospital, they met patients and health workers who explained what they had been through. Midwives hid their patients under beds as the fighting erupted around them. The hospital, with 60 beds, serves 130,000 people in the province. Most of the mattresses have been looted and there is no electricity. Looting did not spare health facilities. NGOs supporting the facility ranked the return of local civilian authorities, improved security, and continued support from the international community as the most pressing issues. This might encourage internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their homes.
Valerie Amos said, “Unless security is re-established, medicines and health equipment cannot be replaced and many of those in urgent need will not be helped. The situation requires our urgent attention so that more lives are not lost. We met a mother who had recently given birth. There was nothing for her to eat."
The humanitarian chiefs also visited the ransacked premises of UN humanitarian organizations. Agencies are yet to ascertain the full extent of the losses and the cost of replacing relief stocks and repairing their offices. Even the plugs had been ripped out of the walls. NGOs operating in CAR estimate their losses at more than €2.5 million Euros.
The recent violence in CAR has affected the entire population of 4.6 million people, leaving more than 1.6 million people in need of urgent assistance.