The Bihar Post

UN-backed humanitarian plan aims to save 2.2 million lives in Africa


New York: The Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and the United Nations humanitarian country team on Friday launched the nearly $400 million response plan for the 2017-2019 period to meet the basic needs of 2.2 million Central Africans.

According to a press release from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the response plan, with a budget of $399.5 million, covers three strategic objectives: save more lives; strengthen the protection of affected populations; and preserve human dignity by restoring access to basic social services and livelihoods.

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The security situation has deteriorated markedly, particularly in the second half of 2016, with a growing number of hot spots. This degradation has generated new humanitarian emergencies and exacerbated the vulnerability of more than 70,000 newly displaced people.

Dr. Michel N’da Konan Yao, Acting Humanitarian Coordinator, said this situation came at a time of an already unfavourable international economic situation for financing humanitarian action.

“New crises arise elsewhere in the world and attract the attention of donors because of their acuity and their dreadful effects on civilian populations,” he said.

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Against this background, Virginie Baikoua, the Minister for Social Affairs and National Reconciliation of CAR and Yao called on donors to increase their engagement with the country in order to consolidate the achievements made during previous years and respond to new emergencies.

A strong advocacy campaign is also under way to ensure that CAR is not a forgotten or neglected crisis.

In 2016, as of December only 36.2 per cent of the Humanitarian Response Plan amounting $531.5 million was not funded. In 2017, $128.5 million will be dedicated to food security.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.

Photo: OCHA Central African Republic

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