The number of people who need humanitarian assistance and protection in the Central African Republic has jumped from 2.5 million to nearly three million. More than 75% of health services are provided by humanitarian workers. UN Assistant Emergency Coordinator Ursula Mueller, after a weeklong mission to the country, calls for increased funding to meet the region’s humanitarian needs.
“The people I met asked for more access to essential services such as water, health, and education,” he says. “At this critical juncture, development workers need to increase their programming while humanitarian workers will have to continue to provide life-saving assistance.”
During his mission, Mueller visited Bria in the east of the country, as well as Alindao and Bangassou in the southeast, where he observed in some areas increased freedom of movement and humanitarian access, creating new hope for civilians.
“Spikes of violence” in previously unaffected areas of the country have caused further displacement, according to Mueller. In addition, two-thirds of the population depends on aid for their livelihoods, over 70% have no access to safe drinking water and about 1.8 million people have food insecurity.
On average, one incident of gender-based violence is reported in the Central African Republic every 60 minutes. 92% of the victims are women and girls. “They urgently need protection and survivors need access to medical and psychosocial support,” Mueller emphasized.
Mueller has also met humanitarian actors who are providing assistance to over 750,000 people every month, even though it is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for humanitarians to operate. So far this year, three aid workers have been killed and 26 injured.
The Central African Republic‘s humanitarian response plan of $ 430.7 million for 2019 is less than 50 percent funded. “Without additional funding, humanitarians will not be able to sustain and scale-up ongoing actions,” concludes Ursula Mueller. “The people of this country need our help now and we cannot fail them.”