Over 2.9 million people according to the United Nations are in dire need of humanitarian emergency.
“I have witnessed the level of suffering among people affected by this complex emergency”, said Ursula Mueller in Bangui, after a week-long mission to the country.
“Most displaced people have been forced to flee multiple times” and are unable to return home due to continued insecurity and lack of essential services.”
Over 75 percent of health services in the Central African Republic is provided by humanitarian organizations.
Moreover, two-thirds of the population depends on aid to survive; more than 70 percent has no access to safe drinking water and some 1.8 million people are hungry.
“People I met called for more access to essential services such as water, health and education”, she recounted. “At this critical time, development actors need to increase their programming, while humanitarians will have to continue to provide life-saving assistance”.
UN says that on average, a gender-based violence (GBV) incident is reported in the country every 60 minutes, with 92 percent of the victims being women and girls.
The deputy relief chief heard from dozens of crisis-affected women, whose GBV testimonies both appalled and shook her.
“They urgently need protection, and survivors need access to medical and psycho-social support,” she stressed.
Ms. Mueller also met humanitarian actors who are providing life-saving assistance to over 750,000 people every month, even though the country is one of the most dangerous in the world for humanitarians to operate in. So far this year, three humanitarian workers have been killed and 26 have been injured.
The $430.7 million Central African Republic Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 is less than 50 percent funded.
“Without additional funding, humanitarians will not be able to sustain and scale up the ongoing response,” concluded the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator. “The people of this country need our help now and we cannot fail them.”