IOM Seeks $56.5m for CAR and Neighbours, Steps up Efforts to Reduce Conflict
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- With the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) in a downward spiral, IOM is today appealing for USD 56.5 million to bring life-saving assistance to the country and region.
The scope of IOM's appeal has been broadened from CAR to Chad and Cameroon, which are carrying a heavy burden of an influx of migrants and returnees fleeing this terrible conflict.
In addition, IOM wants to reinforce transition and recovery efforts, which are beginning to show promise. IOM's engagement with affected communities tells a story of hope amid the chaos.
“Security is deteriorating,” says IOM CAR Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete. “Attacks against the Muslim population in Bangui and outside are continuing and road movements are not safe for anyone, including aid workers. Muslim colleagues are particularly at risk, due to the numerous check points set by anti-Balaka armed groups.”
“The CAR is facing a humanitarian, social, and economic crisis which is affecting the region at large. The outbreak of fighting between ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka forces in the beginning of September 2013 in the CAR and the continued violence has resulted in widespread displacement within and beyond the country's borders. The security situation remains volatile and unpredictable countrywide. As of 19 March 2014, there were approximately 601,000 IDPs in the CAR, with 177,000 IDPs displaced in Bangui. Hundreds of thousands have also fled the country to return to their countries of origin, or have become refugees.”
IOM's support of the mixed religious neighbourhood in the 3rd Arrondissement includes a successful street cleaning project. The scheme has supported 100 local youths from both sides of the divide to work side by side to clear away over 100 truckloads of garbage.
Such activities give ravaged communities renewed hope of working together for a better future. The project is so successful that surrounding neighbourhoods have asked for the project to be replicated.
In the midst of a dangerous information vacuum, where rumours quickly lead to cycles of violence, IOM's community facilitators are constantly engaged in a two-way communication exchange with the affected population. They give a voice to the voiceless and pass messages of hope.
Next week IOM will extend its operations to Boda, which has suffered from inter-sectorial violence. There will be a distribution of core relief items to both communities and meetings with community leaders.
IOM's “Intentions Survey” reveals that a majority of the population of CAR are people of good will, who want to return home, but fear extremism.
To date, IOM has supported the evacuation and return to their home country of over 100,000 stranded and vulnerable migrants, including close to 10,000 assisted with direct international transport assistance. Returns have been organized from both CAR and neighbouring Cameroon, mainly to Chad.
For more information, please visit: http://carresponse.iom.int/