UNHCR seeks US$164 million for displaced Central Africans
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Boris Cheshirkov – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
Nearly one third of the Central African Republic (CAR)’s population of 4.7 million have been forced to flee
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has today launched a US$164 million appeal to provide life-saving assistance and protection to nearly 1.5 million uprooted Central Africans, including 210,000 who fled a new bout of violence related to the December 2020 presidential elections. With no end in sight to the violence fueling the displacement crisis, nearly one third of the Central African Republic (CAR)’s population of 4.7 million have been forced to flee.
Since the new crisis erupted, some 100,000 people have been displaced inside CAR, while neighbouring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of the Congo have received 111,000 new arrivals. Refugees continue to cross every day.
Many new arrivals are reporting grave human rights abuses inside CAR. Our colleagues in Gore, Chad, are caring for a 26-year-old refugee mother who was beaten and raped by a rebel with her six-month-old baby at her side after fleeing her home in Maroukounde. She is now pregnant as a result of the assault and is receiving medical and psychosocial support from our teams.
To enable UNHCR’s targeted and timely protection and assistance to the displaced Central Africans and their hosts, and to ensure our support to governments and other partners, we require urgent financial contributions. Unless funding is swiftly made available, we will be forced to reduce or halt vital assistance, even as the needs are rising.
The appeal includes:
- US$35.2 million to address the ongoing protection crisis and to help us support the most vulnerable children and families, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, and for monitoring, registration, and documentation.
- US$13.7 million to supply shelter and essential relief to the displaced living in dire conditions inside CAR and in neighbouring countries, and who now depend on the generosity of local host communities.
- US$27.8 million for health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, needed to prevent the spread of disease. These needs are compounded by the looming threat of COVID-19.
Despite our limited resources, we have scaled up border and protection monitoring to proactively identify and address the most pressing needs of displaced Central Africans. We are registering and supporting survivors of sexual violence and mitigating the risk of further gender-based violence.
We are also working to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infections by building and equipping quarantine centres and areas for treatment and isolation, as well as by testing, distributing masks, raising awareness on COVID-19 prevention and social distancing, and by improving water, sanitation and health resources.
Funds for UNHCR’s humanitarian response to support displaced Central Africans are already critically low and under severe pressure due to the rising needs of both refugees and the host communities. We are urgently appealing to the international community to mobilize resources to protect and assist the displaced Central Africans and their hosts.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).