Violence displaces 1m in CAR: UN

Updated: 2014-01-07 10:13


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UNITED NATIONS - Nearly 1 million people have fled their home in the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and more than 2 million are in need of humanitarian aid there, a UN spokesperson said Monday.

Recent estimates by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) put those who have been displaced at nearly 1 million, with more than half of them in the capital of Bangui alone, said Farhan Haq at a regular news briefing.

"There has been a 40 percent increase in displaced people in Bangui since 24 December," he said.

Some 2.2 million people, or about half the population of the CAR, need humanitarian assistance, according to the OCHA's latest figures. "But insecurity, as well as the lack of funding and access to people in need, continues to hamper aid efforts, including assessments and response," said Haq.

Insecurity hampered an emergency vaccination campaign against measles, along with other aid services at the international airport in Bangui, he said. The airport harbors about 100,000 people.

CAR has been thrown into turmoil since Seleka rebels launched attacks a year ago and forced President Francois Bozize to flee in March 2013. A transitional government has since been entrusted with restoring peace and paving the way for democratic elections, but armed clashes have erupted again.

Last month, Christians and Muslims launched reprisal attacks against each other in and around Bangui, worsening humanitarian situations.

"Despite the challenges, UN agencies and humanitarian partners are reaching people with essential relief supplies. The World Food Programme (WFP) provided over 1.7 metric tons of food to nearly 250,000 people in December. But it says that its food aid will be 90 percent depleted in February due to the lack of funding," Haq said.