UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, today appealed for $ 164 million to provide life-saving assistance and protection to nearly 1.5 million uprooted Central Africans, including 210,000 who have fled a new wave of violence linked to the presidential elections of December 2020. With no end in sight to the violence fueling the displacement crisis, almost a third of the 4.7 million inhabitants of the Central African Republic (CAR) have been forced to leave. to run away.
Since the new crisis erupted, some 100,000 people have been internally displaced in the CAR, while neighboring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo have welcomed 111,000 new arrivals. Refugees continue to cross every day.
Many new arrivals report serious human rights violations in the CAR. Our colleagues in Gore, Chad, care for a 26-year-old refugee mother who was beaten and raped by a rebel with her six-month-old baby by her side after fleeing her home in Maroukounde. She is now pregnant as a result of the assault and benefits from medical and psychosocial support from our teams.
To enable targeted and timely protection and assistance from UNHCR to displaced Central Africans and their hosts, and to ensure our support to governments and other partners, we need urgent financial contributions. Unless funding is quickly made available, we will be forced to reduce or stop life-saving assistance, even as needs increase.
The call includes:
- US $ 35.2 million to address the current protection crisis and to help us support the most vulnerable children and families, prevent and respond to gender-based violence, as well as monitor, l ‘registration and documentation.
- $ 13.7 million to provide shelter and essential relief to displaced people living in dire conditions in CAR and neighboring countries, 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 stepped up border surveillance and protection to proactively identify and respond to the most urgent needs of displaced Central Africans. We register and support survivors of sexual violence and mitigate the risk of further gender-based violence.
We are also working to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infections by building and equipping quarantine centers and treatment and isolation areas, as well as testing, distributing masks, raising awareness about the prevention of COVID-19 and social distancing, and improving water. , sanitation and health resources.
Funds earmarked for UNHCR’s humanitarian response to support displaced Central Africans are already extremely low and under great pressure due to the growing needs of refugees and host communities. We urgently appeal to the international community to mobilize resources to protect and assist displaced Central Africans and their hosts.
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